As most of you are aware, there are a few current wild fires going on in Southern California. And that means that some of our friends, family, and neighbors are having to evacuate their homes.
During times like this is hard to distill your entire life into whatever you can load into your vehicle or carry on your back. I lived through the 2003 and the 2007 wild fires in San Diego. In 2003, we had no power for 3 days, but we didn’t have to evacuate. We had everything packed up and ready to go just in case, as the fire was just up over the hill.
At that time, we received a lot of great advice in regards to what we should be taking with us. That includes:
1.Meds for everyone- If you have a chronic health condition, pack your meds into your purse/bag FIRST (but make sure they are easily accessible). If you have meds that need to be kept cold, have blue ice packs stashed in your freezer. Having a good First Aid kit you can grab is important too. We have this one at our house- It’s been very helpful.
2. The next few items can be kept all together in a box some place safe. If not originals, then copies of each.
- Health Insurance Cards for everyone in the house (this includes pets).
- Car insurance ID cards, Registration for all cars (especially if you have to leave one or more behind).
- Information on your homeowners/condo unit owners/renters insurance. If you don’t have a copy of the policy, have your agent/Insurance carrier email you a copy and print it out. Write down and take contact information for your land lord or mortgage company (including your loan number).
- Birth certificates, Marriage licenses, Passports (We keep all of our important papers in a family binder, along with copies of one of each of our bills, so I can have account numbers and contact numbers for each utility/creditor).
- Food for pets, any special snacks or food that everyone in your home needs in case of dietary concerns.
3. If you are in a hurry, instead of trying to pack bags of clothes, grab your laundry hamper. Sure the clothes are dirty, but more than likely, everything you need for a few days will be in there.
4. Family heirlooms: Wrap paintings/art in blankets and layer them flat in a vehicle. Most people keep their photos on a terabyte drive or the cloud instead of family photo albums these days. Grab your albums and/or your external hard drives.
5. A Dop Kit/Toiletry Kit, diapers and wipes if you’ve got kiddos.
That’s pretty much the important stuff. Other stuff if you have time…
- Blankets/sleeping bags
- Something to keep your hands/mind busy (books, magazines, knitting, small crafts, coloring
- Extra chargers/cables for any and all devices you are taking with you. Portable emergency charger (like this one).
Most local fire agencies have a twitter feed you can follow too to keep up to date.
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