Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Evacuation Thoughts

Oh friends, what a couple of weeks. I keep reminding myself that God knew these days would be like this and it was no surprise to Him though I was caught off guard by the things that these last days have held.

Our county went under mandatory evacuation during Hurricane Matthew. For those of you who aren't on the coast, this doesn't really mean anyone comes to your door and makes you leave. It just means that the state and local governing authorities will not risk their lives for you if you choose to stay behind. You're on your own kinda thing.

Because my husband is a First Responder, he is not allowed to leave during evacuations but stays behind to help make sure various areas are covered by law enforcement and that as much as possible everyone is safe. I am grateful for his level head and clear thinking at times like this when I tend to waver - should we go? shouldn't we go? when should we go? where should we go?

This is the first time I have ever evacuated, but I do know that typically a mandatory evacuation is sort of pre-announced and then officially announced. At the pre-announcement is sort of a golden opportunity to go. The traffic is less, you have more flexibility on where you can go, etc. One the official evacuation is announced, all incoming traffic lanes reverse to double the outgoing lanes and you go where you can go and where you are told.

For these reasons, we left in the pre-evacuation stage of things. Precious friends opened their home to us for over a week. We had so much fun together and yet I know it was a burden on their family just being out of their usual routine and peacefulness of their own home. Yet they shared abundantly, graciously and just above and beyond the entire time.

When thinking about leaving home, I tried to imagine the worst case scenario to know what I would want to try and take with me. Space was definitely at a premium so I needed to be choosy but I didn't want to have a lot of regrets either just in case.

I asked my Mom and sister to help me think as well just because there was so much swirling in my mind, I couldn't think straight.

Here are some things I did bring with me:
* important financial records and paperwork {birth certificates, car titles, power of atty, etc.}
* my Bible
* our wedding album
* my kids Christmas ornament boxes
* painting David gave me for our wedding
* a couple of old family photos
* a Christmas book that my Dad recorded for our kids
* our homeschool books: mostly so we could continue school!
* my blog books, laptop, camera, ipads, phone, chargers
* cooler with as much perishable food as we could manage
* sleeping bags, pillows, loveys, one backpack of special things per child
* clothes for a few days that we are just wear, wash, repeat :)

I think I can honestly say that I haven't had second thoughts about wishing I'd brought a certain item or that I'd not brought something. My Mom also sent me a great list from Fly Lady that helped me to think of some of these.

Filling up with gas before mandatory evacuation is announced is ever so helpful and time saving! I also went and bought water and trail mix for David before we left and we went on the early side before there was a big rush.

I do have an emergency kit in our house, but would really probably use that more if we were stranded at home without power.

Ok, more to say on this - what else would you add? I hope I don't have to do this again, but if I do this list will be so helpful in thinking quickly and efficiently!


Unknown said...

Nice and interesting. :) Thumbs up for you.

Mrs. Chrissy T said...

This post is great because it makes me think what on earth would I bring. Wow. Thank for sharing. This is something I will be preparing for mentally so if I needed to I would be ready. Love this. I am glad all is well.

Mrs. Chrissy T said...

This post is great because it makes me think what on earth would I bring. Wow. Thank for sharing. This is something I will be preparing for mentally so if I needed to I would be ready. Love this. I am glad all is well.

Anonymous said...

Glad you are home safe and that your husband was safe through the storm and after. ~Jo

*carrie* said...

Love you!

Thankful you are home safe and sound.

Leanne said...

with enough time and space, I would have also had to consider bringing our dog...even though he's an "outside" dog...and I have a scrapbook collection I've been working on since the beginning of our marriage, so I would have packed those in the event the rest of our momentos/ special pics would have been destroyed... I also would take a few pics of our house/ property before the storm for insurance purposes...

Mary Ann said...

I am so glad you and your family are safe and sound!

The evacuation sparked a discussion between my husband and I about what to take in case we had to evacuate. It would be hard to leave your home not knowing what you will find when you return.

Our basics would be: each family member with a few clothing changes per person, the dog with his blanket,food and bowls, fire-safe box that includes important documents, wedding album, prescription meds and medical supplies needed daily(we have some special considerations so those are must-haves!), our phones/chargers, a tank full of gas(hopefully!), some water and easy to eat foods and some cash. Once our baby arrives, obviously diapers and formula would be important!

If extra time and space was on our side:musical instruments and a few pieces of jewelry, the dog's crate and/or bed and the quilts that my grandmothers made.

I have long wanted to create backpacks for each family member with very basic supplies in the event of a sudden evacuation.