It's time to prepare to evacuate. We all hope this will never be a challenge that must be faced but if we are prepared we need not fear.
Several years ago our daughter and her family had to prepare to evacuate due to a fire in the fields behind their home. In the article Don't Forget the Birds, which can be found here at TotallyReady.com in the timely articles section, you can read about their adventure. As a family read and discuss the article. Reassure your children you do not expect this to happen to you but it is always better to be prepared. As you read the article make note of the answers to the question, "what would you advise others to be ready to evacuate?"
Now it’s time to discuss the tips for being prepared given by each member of the family in the article. How can your family use those suggestions to be ready to run?
It’s time to create a plan for your family.
1. Have each family member make a list of the items they would be sad to lose and those that are irreplaceable. Set aside several minutes for this and allow everyone to walk around the house if they need help remembering what should be listed.
2. As described in the article create a form with four columns. In the first column, record the items to be gathered in order of importance.
3. In the second column record where each item is stored and, as Elisabeth recommended, gather items into a common location as much as possible.
4. In the third column assign a family member to gather each item and place it in the car if the time comes to evacuate.
5. The fourth column can be used to check off the items once they are safely stashed in the car.
6. Finally, post the list where it can easily be found and followed when evacuation becomes a reality.
You may want to make a list for each family member recording their responsibilities. For young children you can cut a picture out of a magazine or have the child draw the item.
Be sure to leave room to add items you think of later. As items are needed occasionally create a new list and move the most important items to the top.