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About a month ago, I began writing an article to discuss creating a home evacuation plan. I planned on sharing it this month because September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. Little did I know, I would be putting my home evacuation plan to use before sharing it with you.

I live in Oregon. We currently have 47 wildfires burning. Hundreds of thousands of acres are burning out of control. People have lost absolutely everything. Watching the news is devastating. We feel helpless and overwhelmed.

Even though the nearest fires are still about an hour away from my home, we have begun preparing to be evacuated. We have a plan, have collected important papers, medication, first aid supplies, pet items, clothing, and other items of comfort.  All of our stuff is by the front door. We can be out of the house in ten minutes or less.

Thankfully, we have had time to prepare to evacuate our house. Some people don’t have the time or warning. That is why it is super important to have a home evacuation plan in place, before disaster strikes. Here are my 4 Helpful Tips For Creating A Home Evacuation Plan.

Communication- When creating your home evacuation plan it’s important to discuss where you are going and how you are going to get there. How will you communicate your whereabouts with family and friends? It would be a good idea to write down important phone numbers and have them with you. Yes, you likely have these numbers memorized or stored in your phone, but having them written down will be helpful for others as well as yourself when you are stressed and may not be able to focus.

Important Documents- Have copies of important papers including your driver’s license, the deed to your house, proof of insurance, medical records, passports, and social security cards. Keep these papers secure in a waterproof pouch.

To-go Bag- Make a grab-and-go kit, bugout bag, to-go bag, or whatever you want to call it, and have it READY! Include essential supplies such as water, food, first-aid supplies, and medication. Grab a few days of clothing for each person in your family. If you have children, don’t forget their lovies/blankey and other items that bring them comfort.

Pet supplies- If you have pets, make to-go bags for them as well. Pack their medical records, medications, leashes, bowls, food, and water. They too may find comfort in a favorite toy and/or blanket.

There is a lot to do to be prepared for a home evacuation. I have only begun to touch the surface.  Sit with your family and discuss what needs to go into your bag.  It may change given the weather conditions, etc so update/refresh your bag depending on the season.

Having a plan in place can help reduce some of the stress. Hopefully, you will never find yourself in a situation where you need it.

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This post currently has 9 responses.

  • Sarah L

    Having a plan is so important. Have it and hope you never have to use it. The Colorado wildfires had a lot of help from the snow we got last week.

  • monique s

    This is such a good reminder. With fire season here and even for other crisis you should have a plan

  • Peggy Nunn

    I need to update our plan. But you and your family please stay safe. Thank you for the tips.

  • Mia E.

    It is heartbreaking to see the destruction of the forests and how so many peoples lives are uprooted. It all happens so quickly and plans are necessary. Hoping you and your family are safe in the midst of this.

  • Sue E

    We were getting groomed for emergencies ever since we were in elementary school. With the fire 🔥 drills and having safety classes. I bugged my mom for a fire extinguisher 🧯 We check our smoke alarms for new batteries 🔋 and check our carbon monoxide detectors! All very important for safety!! I am so sorry about all the fires! I have been depressed about it. I know what you’re talking about the smoke in the air. My sister lives in Seattle and she said it’s by her now! I am so sorry!! Maybe buying some oxygen masks, etc. might be part of your emergency kit! Be safe!

    • That is great, Sue. I remember doing fire drills in elementary school too.
      I hadn’t thought of oxygen masks in an emergency kit. That is a great idea!
      Thoughts and prayers for your sister in Seattle. Things are slowly improving here. We actually saw a bit of a blue sky yesterday!

  • gloria patterson

    I hope that you will have to return all that stuff by the door to its original place. Be safe!!!

    This is something that all people should have available so they don’t have to think at a stressful moment

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