Evacuating is traumatic even for those of us who have done it before. There is nothing like a very small window of time to get your things and go. We are currently evacuated from our home with the Black Forest Fire and it has brought back memories of evacuating from the Southern California fires when I was pregnant with my youngest. Based on my experience, here are the top five things you want to take with you:
- Medication. This is so important. Often times you will not know how long you and your family will be displaced. Therefore, you want to make sure that you have all of your medication with you. Further, if you require a refill you will have the prescription details with you. If anything, make sure to have the contact details of your primary care physician.
- Important Documents. It is vital to have these documents to hand. Therefore, I suggest that you have them in a portable storage container at all times. These documents include but are not limited to the title to your home, birth certificates, social security cards, visas and insurance policies. Also, you will want to have copies of your bills if you do not have epay. This way you can contact your creditors and explain to them your situation.
- Pictures. Take pictures of everything you own before you leave. I suggest to do it with your smart phone if you have one. This way you will have a digital inventory of all of the items in your home. This will expedite matters with your insurance company.
- Special Momentos. Find what is important to you. Think about the space in your car before you do this. You will have to accept the harsh reality as I did that your grandmother’s china will not be coming with you. However, think about the special things in your life that has sentimental value. Baby books, special letters, awards and anything that could not live without. Have these things accessible all the times so that you can take it quickly.
- Chargers, Electrical Components, Hard Drive Back-Ups. Make sure to grab these before you go. Given the fluidity of your situation you want to have your laptop and phone charged. Therefore, when packing do not forget to pack these very important items. Also, if you have a back-up hard drive as I do beyond the cloud, make sure to take that with you.
Remember, if you are evacuating it will be one of the most stressful life experiences you will face. However, there are steps you can take ahead of time to ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible. If you have children, empower them in this process by having them pack things that are special to them. Give them parameters by limiting it to a bag or size. This helps them feel apart of the process. If you have animals, do not forget to take the essentials, like their food and water containers and their special food. If you have vet records, take them with you if you have a chance. If anything, make sure to have your vet’s contact details.
Think about how you are feeling and apply it to your children and pets. They will be feeling a plethora of mixed emotions so make sure to be understanding and provide them with reassurance. It is important for them to know that as parents we don’t always have the answer but we will love them through it.
You will want to keep posted on the latest with the Black Forest Fire and the Royal Gorge Fire but limit the exposure to your kids. My heart is heavy for all those affected with the Black Forest Fire and Royal Gorge Fire. It is an eerie deja vu for those who remember the Waldo Canyon Fire last year. Stay safe and I wish you all the best. Keep in mind that your things can be replaced but you can’t, so please heed the warnings before it is too late.