By now, you’ve spent a day or so thinking about potential catastrophes that might occur where you live. The next step is only slightly more labor-intensive, but when you’re done you’ll be more prepared than most Americans to handle an emergency!
Review your list from Exercise One. For each circled item, consider:
- If this event were to occur, would I evacuate the city or stay in my apartment?
- If I evacuate, what route would I take? What if that route is blocked? What should I take with me? Where will I go, and how long will I stay there?
- What will I do if I must evacuate quickly and with little warning? What will I take with me?
- If I stay in the city, how long will the emergency last? Will I have electricity and running water? How will I protect my apartment from potential looters?
- What if I am away from my apartment when a disaster occurs? Will I return to my apartment or my car? Will I run away? What should I take with me?
Once you have thought through these questions, begin writing down your specific plans for each of the four or five circled emergencies. You can use this printable pdf if you would like! Write down:
- Whether you will evacuate or hunker down.
- How long the crisis might last.
- Which resources you will need to survive.
- Where you should store these resources (i.e. if you evacuate, store food and water in the trunk of your car).
Also write down at least two evacuation routes, regardless of whether or not you plan to leave the city when disaster strikes. Remember, you may not have a choice.
Now stick that paper in your 3-ring binder and call it a day! Next time we’ll begin filling your binder with important documents so they’re not left behind during a short-notice evacuation.
Do you feel better now that you have a solid plan?
Extra credit: Locate personal documents such as your Social Security Card, birth certificate, marriage license, passport, etc. If you would like, buy tabbed dividers for your 3-ring binder.