You have 5 minutes to evacuate your home. What do you grab?
Now is a good time to refresh our memory on disaster preparedness. Bookmark ready.gov.
Ready.gov is a service of the Department of Homeland Security. While their rep is less than stellar, the information on their site can help you help yourself when the government lets you down. Not that the government would ever leave its citizens to drown in their own misery.
Ready.gov has a special section devoted to the Burning of California that could be used for any disaster that may strike. They link you to the American Red Cross, which tells you what to do when the fire reaches your backyard.
Important documents checklist and helpful links after the jump.
When Wildfire Threatens
* If you are warned that a wildfire is threatening your area, listen to your battery-operated radio for reports and evacuation information. Follow the instructions of local officials.
* Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape. Shut doors and roll up windows. Leave the key in the ignition. Close garage windows and doors, but leave them unlocked. Disconnect automatic garage door openers.
* Confine pets to one room. Make plans to care for your pets in case you must evacuate.
* Arrange temporary housing at a friend or relative’s home outside the threatened area.
If Advised to Evacuate, Do So Immediately
* Wear protective clothing–sturdy shoes, cotton or woolen clothing, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves, and a handkerchief to protect your face.
* Take your Disaster Supplies Kit.
* Lock your home.
* Tell someone when you left and where you are going.
* Choose a route away from fire hazards. Watch for changes in the speed and direction of fire and smoke.
Important Family Documents…
* Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container:
– Will, insurance policies, contracts deeds, stocks and bonds
– Passports, social security cards, immunization records
– Bank account numbers
– Credit card account numbers and companies
* Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
* Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
* Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the supplies kit in the trunk of your car.
* Keep items in airtight plastic bags. Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh. Replace your stored food every six months. Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year. Replace batteries, update clothes, etc.
* Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications.
Good luck out there. You might be on your own.