How to Create a Home Emergency Evacuation Plan

Category: Fire and Smoke Restoration

Home sweet home. It’s never comfortable to think about ever having to leave it for longer than you planned or against your will. But, if that happened, it would be better to be prepared for that than just wing it, right?

We’ve seen a lot over the last twenty years in our water and fire damage restoration work. The biggest impact on us has been seeing the wide range of emotions people go through when they realize that their life may never be the same, depending on the scope of the damage. The biggest cause of their duress aside from the disaster itself is not knowing what to do next.

While that’s where we come in and help with damage restoration and dealing with insurance company know-how, it goes much deeper. When you suddenly find your most basic support systems pulled out from underneath you, you’ll wish you had a plan.

Emergencies can happen at any time–fast–and when we least expect them. Many of us Homo sapiens freeze up at least a bit when we find ourselves out of our comfort zone. Imagine the difference that recovering precious seconds would mean during a flood or a fire when the need for speed is not optional.

Calm and collected trumps panic any day. It comes from having thought through the possibilities, creating a plan, discussing it with the family, doing the work to put everything in place, and then rehearsing a real-life possibility. Experts recommend doing this on a regular basis, usually monthly or at least quarterly.

The most important things to have thought through before you need them are:

  • Where you’ll stay. This is one of those things that are worth discussing before the need arises. It’s also a good reason to get to develop and maintain good relationships with neighbors. Maybe you can stay in your home but just need a place to take a hot shower for a couple of days.
  • Who to call and how to stay plugged in. Keep a hard copy of important phone numbers along with your phone charger just in case power isn’t available.
  • Where your keys, glasses, coat, wallet, medications, and an overnight bag are. It’s wise to have cash on hand just in case. It is probably smart to have a snack or two, as well. You may want first aid items, flashlights, batteries. A lot of this is contingent on where you live, the season, and personal needs and preferences.
  • Important documents, names, phone and account numbers. You don’t need to make a big production out of this or any of the above. One small notebook and, perhaps, a bag for everyone in the front closet will do the trick. Depending on the needs of everyone, it can take more or less time.
  • Remember your pets. They will need things, too.

Please search out a professional organizer or other assistance if you feel you need more support to do this for you and your family. There are all kinds of things to think through outside our expertise. Let us know if we can help by making a referral.

Bookstore magazine shelves are full of prepper and survivalist magazines that can take all of the above to the -nth degree. That’s all well and good, but we think that just nailing the basics can put a person in the top ten percent and create the possibility of feeling well taken care of in a situation you never would have chosen for yourself. How about you?

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