While planning for a disaster, an important consideration should be to write your plans down, make copies and then send those copies to your friends and family members. The plans should include destination during the evacuations, contact phone number, routes you plan on taking during the evacuation and backup phone numbers – plus your usual stuff.
Destinations: This is your predefined “bug out location”. If you have to evacuate, where are you going? This should be planned out ahead of time, driven, and this information shared with your friends and family members.
Contact phone numbers: Pick a family member or friend that is several hundred miles from your location. Contact them and see if they will agree to be the messenger service. Before, during and after a disaster there is a good chance that phone lines will be overloaded. Use someone outside the area to relay messages between the affected parties.
Routes: This is the highway or interstate you plan on taking to leave the affected area. If the primary route is blocked, what is the secondary route? If the primary and secondary are blocked, what is the 3rd option? How long does it normally take you to drive those routes? This information should be written down and sent to friends and family members.
The people at the bug out location should have a copy of these plans. When the mandatory evacuation is ordered, contact the people you and your family will be staying with, and tell them what plans you are putting into operation.
List of items to take during the evacuation: Sit down and write down the important items that should be taken with you during a mandatory evacuation. Suggestions include home owners and insurance papers, income tax papers, identification, home videos and pictures. Its the little things that sometimes get left behind and destroyed. Its the pictures of the kids when they were little, pictures of holidays, pictures of grandparents and great grandparents that can never be replaced.
Medications: Make sure to make note of all medications that everyone in the family is taking.
Special Needs: Make sure the people at the bug out location knows of any special needs people in the unit. And make it known just “what” the special needs are. Examples include breathing machines, oxygen, special beds, wheel chairs, wheel chair ramps at the building,,,,,.
Write this information down and make sure everyone in your party knows of it.
Its easy to overlook the small things when a hurricane is bearing down on your location. So make notes and write the important stuff down before you have to make last minute decisions.
This is only a very small list, and its just some suggestions to get you started.