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Have an Evacuation Plan

23 Nov

The most vivid images most of us have of Hurricane Katrina are those of all the people who were trapped in New Orleans after the hurricane. These people and their families got trapped because they didn’t have an evacuation plan.

An evacuation plan is a plan to get out of your area fast if there is some sort of disaster.

If you live in a place prone to hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes or other catastrophes you should definitely have an evacuation plan for yourself and your family.

The first step in creating an evacuation plan is to take a look at the maps of your area and plan ways out. Take a look at the roads and highways that lead out of your areas and find the best way out. Something to remember is that major highways such as interstates often get blocked by traffic jams during disasters. This means it is a good idea to look for other routes out of your community.

You should also plan where to go for example to a relative’s home. Decide if you want to drive straight there or to drive to an airport or a train station in another community. Something to consider is that such facilities are often jammed in disasters.

As part of your plan you should decide what you plan to take with you. Definitely plan to bring copies of important documents such as birth certificates and insurance policies. Also have some sort of record of your all your banking and investment accounts and how to access them with you. To save space you can save all of this data as digital images and put it on a flash drive or a laptop computer.

Two items you should definitely bring with you are a laptop and a cell phone. Before you go should definitely call somebody at your destination and tell them when you’re coming. Make sure that a person there has your cell phone number so they can check on you.

You should also make plans for elderly, handicapped and other friends, relatives or neighbors who can’t get out. If possible you should plan to pick elderly relatives and bring them along.

Finally you should make sure that you have a dependable vehicle available and enough gasoline. Therefore it might be a good idea to have one or two gas cans available before you leave.


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