You should always make sure you and your family have a plan of action in the event of a disaster or emergency. You need to plan for a worse case scenario where your family is separated at the start of the disaster. What would you do if you and your spouse are at work and the kids are at school? Who would pick the kids up at school? There should be a clear division of responsibilities know who is doing what at all times. Each plan needs to be tailored to your individual location and needs but we will look at some basic steps today.
- Meet with all family members to discuss the plan.
- Set up two rally points one near your home and one outside of your neighborhood.
- Make sure all vehicles are gassed up and ready to go. I personally don’t like to get below half full.
- Identify responsibilities for each family member.
- If possible have a point of contact person outside your area. They can help coordinate efforts to get you reunited if your family gets separated.
- Have your bug out supplies located in one closet this aids in loading them in your vehicle and helps to get all of your supplies. A list of basic supplies can be found here. Use a checklist as an aid to get all necessary items.
- Get your pets ready to travel as well
- Have a destination in mind and know multiple routes to get there. How much gas will it take? If more than you have you need to plan for this as well.
- Keep some spare gas on hand this will let you fuel your vehicle fully before you leave.
- Have a drill at least once a year.
- Plan ahead for your pets. Know if there are any pet friendly hotels/ motels along your route. Check for places to board your pet in the area you will be staying in.
- Remember the quicker you can leave the better off you will be. There will be less traffic, more last-minute supplies, fuel and more places to stay at the end of your trip
This list should serve as a starting point for your plan. Remember to discuss this list with family and to have practice drills at least once per year. Practice all alternate routes that you map out.