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Emergency evacuation: How prepared are you to escape in a hurry?

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Unplanned evacuation happen often. As we have seen, disasters - like forest fires, flooding, landslides, refinery fires, explosions, derailments, building collapses, and violent storms - are happening more frequently and often with only minutes given to escape.

Disasters happen. How prepared are you to evacuate on only a moment's notice? Do you know what to do if you need to evacuate yourself, your family, or your pets from your home on short notice?

Here are a few guidelines to help prepare you "before" disaster strikes.

  • Survival Bag: Have a survival bag ready to grab and go in an emergency. Be sure to include flashlights and batteries, prescription meds, first aid supplies, extra food and water and other emergency supplies.
  • Pets: Remember your pets in your emergency planning. Be sure to pack pet supplies in your survival bag. As you prepare for their evacuation, remember that many shelters don't allow pets, so be prepared with alternate shelter plans
  • Gas for your car: It's a good idea to keep the gas tank in your "escape" vehicle at half full or above, at all times, in case of a sudden need to evacuate.
  • Know the roads: Keep a map of your local area in your vehicle and be familiar with routes in and out of your area. Follow posted evacuation routes as much as possible, but be familiar with alternate routes, as well, so that if main roads are blocked, you know another way out.
  • Have a meeting place: Set up a meeting place, in case you are separated from family members or have to get away separately. The location should be accessible and far enough away from your home that it won't be affected by whatever is happening in your neighborhood. Be sure everyone in the family knows about the meeting place.

Disasters happen. Be prepared.

READ: Horrible disasters happen every day, no one is immune: Are you prepared?

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