5 Things to Include in Your Disaster Evacuation Plan

Some catastrophic disasters are preceded by a warning, while others may only give you minutes to flee or force you to evacuate in the aftermath of a disaster. When the moment comes, it’s critical to have a strategy in place that you can execute without hesitation.
Do you have any idea what you’d bring? What about you? Where would you go? The Insurance Information Institute has put up a five-step strategy to get you and your family on the road to safety.

Plan ahead of time for your evacuation.

–  Don’t put off planning your escape until the last minute. ( The South Carolina Emergency Management Division’s mobile app allows you to save this and other important information. It will alter how you prepare for disasters. The SC Emergency Manager app is available for download on the App Store and Google Play.
– Determine where you can go in the case of a disaster. Consider having other options: a friend’s or family member’s house in another town, a motel, or a shelter. Keep these locations’ phone numbers and addresses handy.
· Plan your major and backup routes to your evacuation locations in the event that roads are blocked or inaccessible. If GPS satellite signals go down or your gadgets run out of battery, try to keep a physical map of the region on hand.
· Set aside a meeting spot in advance in case your family members get separated before or during the evacuation. Make the meeting particular to the site, such as “meet at the great clock in the center of town square” rather than “meet at town square.”
– Assign a contact person for your family to an out-of-town friend or family member.
– Write out all evacuation arrangements, including addresses and phone numbers, and distribute them to each family member. Please keep in mind that many home printer inks are NOT waterproof, therefore take the necessary steps to maintain legibility.
For evacuation orders, listen to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio or local radio or television stations. If you’re told to evacuate, do so right away.

Make a list of what to bring.

Many families keep a “go bag” with some of these essential goods on hand. Consider bringing the following items with you in case of an evacuation.
– Prescriptions and other types of medications
– First-aid kit o Water bottle o Flashlight, battery-operated radio, and spare batteries
– Clothing and bedding (sleeping bags, cushions) o Special equipment for newborns, the elderly, or handicapped family members o “Comfort products,” such as special toys for youngsters
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– Pet-related items

Make a list of everything you own.

Making a house inventory and keeping it on hand can come in helpful if you need to seek for disaster assistance, as well as: o Assist you in ensuring that you have obtained adequate insurance to replace your personal belongings.
– If required, expedite the insurance claims procedure; o Document any losses for income tax reasons.
Find out more about how to make a home inventory here.
assemble critical papers
Carry the following critical papers in a secure location where you can readily access them and take them with you in the case of an evacuation; although you’ll need an original for most of them, it’s also a good idea to create digital copies and keep them on a thumb drive with you:
– Prescriptions o Birth and marriage certificates o Passports o Driver’s licenses or other forms of personal identification
– Cards for Social Security
– Homeowners, auto, life, and other insurance plans
Wills and deeds o Stocks, bonds, and other negotiable certificates o Financial information such as bank, savings, and retirement account numbers and recent tax returns
– Inventory of your home

Challenge yourself to a 10-minute evacuation.

Do a real-time test to check that you and your family are properly prepared in the event of an emergency evacuation. Allow just 10 minutes to get your family and possessions into the vehicle and go on the road to safety. You should be able to assemble your family members and pets, as well as the most vital goods they will need, calmly and effectively, with the least amount of stress and confusion, if you prepare ahead and practice.

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