Evacuation Kit – Preface – Have A Plan

evacuation kit - be prepared

So  you think an emergency won’t happen to you?  Here are just a few examples of things that have happened:

OCTOBER 16, 1989:  San Franciscans nervously anticipated Game 3 of the cross-town World Series between the Giants and the Oakland As, from just over the bridge. The Giants were already down two games.

OCTOBER 17, 1989:  A powerful 6.9 earthquake shook San Francisco for a minimum of ten consecutive seconds during the Game 3 warm-up. Some 12,000 homes were wrecked beyond habitability. Natural gas lines ruptured and set fires to buildings in the Marina district. A 1.25 mile-long stretch of The Cypress Street Viaduct, a major twin-decker roadway, collapsed on itself and killed 42 motorists in a single blow. In all, 63 people died and nearly 4,000 were injured.

Evacuation kit 2

May 21, 2011:  Missouri Southern State University held its graduation, calling its graduates to the stage with the familiar alphabetical-order procession.

May 22, 2011: A mile-wide tornado touched down in Joplin, at 5:41 p.m. Violent, 200-mph winds crippled the city. In minutes, Joplin’s only high school was destroyed. Survivors were trapped in their basements well into the night and the next day. Hundreds were injured. The death total climbed to 161, making it the deadliest tornado in nearly 60 years.

Evacuation kit 3

January 6, 1998:  Families in Maine were enjoying the after-holiday sales and preparing for the incoming “snowstorm”. Schools were back in session after the week-long holiday break and mid-term exams were getting underway. The State basketball tournament was gearing down…

January 7, 1998:  The Great Ice Storm: Freezing rain poured down onto central and southern Maine from January 7th through January 17th. The storm knocked out power to close to 1 million people, about 80% of the state’s population, some for more than two weeks. Roads were shut down across the state as trees and power poles collapsed under the weight of the ice. Schools remained closed for up to two weeks and 6 deaths were attributed directly to the impacts of the storm.

Evacuation kit 4

August 28, 2005:  As of 1:00am local time, the eye of Hurricane Katrina was 310 miles south of New Orleans. It was upgraded to a Category 4 storm. New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin was considering calling for an evacuation by late morning. Regardless, many Louisiana residents…

August 29, 2005:  The 28-foot tropical storm surge toppled levees in 53 different areas, flooding over 80% of the city of New Orleans. Hospitals went without power for ICU machines. Tens of thousands of homeless survivors were relocated, and water-borne diseases threatened to cause further damage. The costliest disaster in American history was a national tragedy.

To see how natural disaster has affected every state of this country, click here.


Getting yourself & your family prepared in case of an emergency, takes less time and effort than you may think. But if a disaster hits your home or your community having a plan for what to do and stocking up on basic essentials can make all the difference in how comfortably and safely you make it through the crisis.

Cecco Secci of the Los Angeles Fire Department says, “In case of an emergency, if you call 911, we may not be able to come out as quickly as you’d like if we’re going to be overwhelmed, depending on the situation at hand.  So if you are prepared at home, and if you have a plan, then you’ll be able to cope with it until help arrives.”

Capt. Brian Ballton of the Los Angeles Fire Department says, “In an emergency, everything goes out the window….your emotions, the fear factor, the confusion…and if everybody is aware of the plan, and can execute the plan, that increases your survivability.”

Take a few minutes to check out the tools & tips available on www.ready.gov that make getting prepared easy:

1. Learn about the type of risks that could affect your area.  No matter where you live, there is a natural or man-made disaster that could strike without warning:

Extreme Heat
Landslides & Debris Flows
Severe Weather
Space Weather
Thunderstorms & Lightning
Winter Storms
Severe Cold
Technological & Accidental Hazards
Terrorist Hazards
Weather-related Power Loss

2. Knowing what to do before, during and after these types of events ahead of time, will help you make an effective plan.

3. Take a moment to sit with your family to decide how you will get in contact with each other, where you will go in the event of an emergency. This is very helpful, especially when all of the family members are not in the same place. Use the Family Emergency Plan to organize family information and help you develop a plan that works for you.

4. Identify someone locally and someone out of state that will be your contact person in case of an emergency.

5. Learn how to send message via text messaging to your friends and family.

“One of the things we noticed in the past during a major emergency, both the regular phone lines and cell phone lines were overwhelmed…but people were still able to text message vital pieces of information.

6. Once you’ve established a plan, print it out and put together an emergency kit.

Even if you add just a few items at a time, very quickly you will have a great kit that will ensure you and your family are prepared for an emergency.

7.  Be sure to keep a copy of the emergency plan together with copies of important documents like birth certificate, insurance policies, & financial forms in your emergency supply kit.

8.  Don’t forget to maintain your kit & plan throughout the year – replacing items before their expiration and keeping contact information current.

9.  Enquire about emergency plans where your family spends time:  work, in the car, school, faith organizations & recreational activities.

10.  Get to know about local resources available in your community.

Do you have local emergency contact information?

Do you have information about shelter & evacuation?

Do you know how to get local alerts & warnings?



If you like, please share!

Don’t miss a great post…  Make sure you are subscribed !






  1. […] me.  I just kept putting it off.  I was probably like most people and think that it will never happen to us….or I will get around to making them before anything happens!  In my defense, I’m at […]

join the conversation