Tuesday, January 5, 2010

6: Long Term Evacuation - a week or forever

It's taken me a long time to get ready to write this segment. My greatest concern is that I not be morbid but considering leaving your home suddenly, under emergency circumstances, with the thought that you might never again return is such a horrible thought. However, being prepared is like having Insurance or making a Will or Saving for a Rainy Day. They are all things we hope we never need but rest a little easier knowing they are taken care of...just in case the storm clouds roll in.
Preparedness is just another one of those things. We've already gone over the needs for keeping gas, cash, medicines, food and water on hand and protecting your information, records, memories, valuables, etc. and following those recommendations should have you just about ready to hit the road. Beyond those things, preparing to leave your home without the certainty that you will ever be able to return should be looked at as if you were moving into a furnished place in another town. Furnishings and decor simply don't matter.
What does matter is how well you have organized your life. Do you have savings that will see you through until you can get back on your feet? Do you keep a sufficient amount of cash-on-hand to cover the cost of an escape to safety if you cannot access money in the bank? Do you have sufficient records to meet qualification requirements should you need to apply for assistance? Do you have a Will? Have you prearranged a temporary place to go while you regroup and determine your next step? Does your family have a plan to keep in contact with each other or a place to meet if the disaster is wide spread? Do you have sufficient food if there is none available in stores? Does anyone in your family have special medical needs and how would you handle those if you were planning a move?

There could be chapters written on each question. The best I can do is link you to some of the experts I've found...but I have NO relationship with any of these people or companies. I just did some research and offer these suggestions as a starting place for your own research.

When it comes to finances and making certain that you are prepared to meet hardships, Dave Ramsey has published everything financial from getting yourself free of debt to getting ready for retirement. LINK

Concerning Wills and other Legal Documents, Legal Zoom is an online source that actually answers a ton of questions, might cause you to consider something you had overlooked and is an inexpensive alternative to hiring an attorney. LINK

Laying in a hefty supply of easy-to-heat food is as simple as taking your common sense and a bunch of dollars to the store. But when you are hurrying to fit family, pets, records, your grab-n'-go bucket and most treasured items into the car, cases of canned goods just might not fit. MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat) are not inexpensive but are compact, readily available and often come with "heaters". LINK
And, e-Foods Direct has package programs from a 7-Day Emergency Package to a full One-Year Food Supply. Their products are also compact and portable. LINK

When it comes to overall instruction for meeting disaster from a local fire, flood or mudslide, to major National emergencies up to and including nuclear war, Holly Deyo has been working for years to compile detailed information. Here is a LINK to her book, "Dare to Prepare".

Being prepared takes our minds to places we'd rather not go. Just thinking about it is real work. But making a priority list of things you need to do in order to be prepared is step one. From there, if you accomplish just one item on the list each week or month, you will get everything done. You will finally be prepared even for the worst scenario and as bad as the whole process made you feel when you started down that unpleasant road; that's how good you will feel once you know that you have actually done everything conceivable to provide for yourself and your family no matter what comes your way.
Now I need to take my own advice and finalize a few things myself.

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