Lisa recently wrote,
"I live in Southern California and recently we had a wildfire very close to homes and a lot of my friends had to evacuate. They gathered most of their important documents and scrapbooks and things. But while staying away from their homes, all they could think about was what they had forgotten. So we have all been trying to come up with some (kind) of "evacuation list" to be prepared for any other situation like this. Do you have any ideas for this or any resources that we can turn to?"
I think it is a great thing to have a prioritized evacuation list. In a stressful situation, it can be hard to think clearly. If you have a list, you can rely on it to remind you of important items without stressing that you're forgetting something. You'll want to locate copies of your list in multiple locations. Hang a list on your fridge and near each door for easy access.
Each family's list is going to be different. Perhaps a certain toy is essential to comfort a toddler in your family. For your family, that toy will need to be towards the top of the list. A different family might have a special family portrait that is important to save.
Every evacuation situation is also going to be different. You might only have two minutes or you might have twenty minutes to gather items. I've broken my evacuation list into time amounts, guessing what I can gather in that amount of time. If my guesses are wrong, I'm still okay because the list starts with the most important items and moves to less important items. I've also included the location of each item. Listing the location will save precious time as it reminds you of where things are and saves you from describing the location to anyone else who might be there to help.
In an actual evacuation, you might choose to skip items on the list depending upon the situation. In a fire, you would probably choose to skip things like sleeping bags and tents, knowing that you will have family, a shelter, or a hotel available to you and instead concentrate on getting valuables out of your home. In an earthquake, your priority might be gathering survival items and food out of a broken home before another aftershock hits. In a gas leak evacuation, you'll just be trying to get out as fast as possible with only absolute necessities. It's impossible to predict when you might need this list or what the circumstance will be. So I've made one easy-to-find list that I can adapt accordingly.
My Grab-N-Go List:
Purse (check for cell phone)
72-Hour Kits (hooks in garage)
Extra food kit (under coats in mud-room)
Bottled water (car trunks)
Both cars (pull out into driveway)
Vital Info Folder (includes birth certificates, insurance policies, etc.)
Cell phone chargers
[From this point on my list, I've included two columns under each time amount. The first column are survival items, the second column includes possessions that I want to save.]
Additional clothing (fill suitcases/bags with clothing as if packing for a trip)
Blankets (linen closet & beds)
Additional food (pantry)
Scrapbooks (office shelves)
Scrapbook bins (office closet)
Journals (office shelves)
Boys' journals (bedrooms)
Camera/video camera (M/D closet)
Family videos (M/D closet & entertainment center)
Tent (under stairs)
Camp stove (basement)
Larger water Bottles (basement)
Sleeping bags (under stairs)
Mom's portrait (over the piano)
Computer hard drive (pictures are already backed-up online)
Family pictures (on walls - already have digital backups)
One hour or more:
Dad's published books (office shelves)
Contents of cedar-chest
Some things that aren't on my personal list, but that you'll want to consider:
First-aid supplies (I've already included them in both my cars and our 72-hour kits)
Scriptures (also already in our 72-hour kits)
Pets and pet supplies
Fuel & generators
Did I miss anything? Please share if you have an idea of something else that might need to be included in these lists. Thanks!
Here are some other examples and ideas:
Prepared LDS Family - List
Rim Family Services
Natural Disasters Evacuation Possessions Survival