because i promised, i made you a little video. :) this is the drill ella and i ran a few days ago for an emergency evacuation on foot. we started with this because it would be the most challenging type of evacuation for us right now, given that we do not have appropriate gear for bugging out on foot, but we also felt that once we had tackled this one, evacuating by car would be very manageable. our assumptions for the purpose of this drill were:
- the evacuation order would happen on a weekday, which would mean that rudi would have the car.
- we would have 30 minutes to pack and leave.
- ella and i would be the only people in the house so we'd have to do this entirely ourselves.
- we would be gone for at least 72 hours.
- we would have to walk less than 5 miles to get to alternate transportation or to shelter.
the set up:
we went over the grab-and-go lists to be certain she knew what she was expected to gather up, where the items were located, and where to take them for loading. we also walked thru each of the tasks she was expected to complete.
then, i started the timer and we began. the plan was that we had 15 minutes to collect the items on our lists and 15 minutes to load them onto/into our wheeled units and go.
here is the video. the only edits were to take out the parts where i was walking back and forth to the tripod, to the cart, etc. (note: the list for the “roughing it kit” and all the other items i mention in this video can be found in my big list of lists).
mind you, this drill took place under pretty much ideal circumstances: a sunny, mild day when we were both healthy and we had plenty of time to stop and deal with any problems. if an evacuation happened on a rainy day, or at night, or when one of us had the flu, etc., things would be drastically more challenging. that is why i want to run this drill every now and then—so that we know what the system is and don’t have to figure it out under duress.
after we ran this drill i made a few notes, which we will use to adjust our plan and to make the next run of this drill smoother.
- having kits packed and stored together
- having a grab-and-go list posted for things that are in daily use and not in storage
- having talked out the game plan before trying it
what didn't work:
- when it was fully loaded, the recycling bin was HEAVY and hard to steer
- the gardening cart was top-heavy and hard for ella to steer
- the sentimental box takes up a lot of room--will make digitizing that stuff a high priority
changes we are going to make:
- revise the grab-and-go list to make collecting things more orderly
- double check the list as we load the rolling devices to make sure we didn't forget anything
- have practice sessions for ella to learn how to get the harnesses on the dogs by herself
MY IDEAL EVACUATION:
- the car would have at least a half tank of gas.
- we would have a cargo trailer packed and ready to hitch to the car.
this would leave us with only the pets and the grab-and-go lists to deal with. if we already had the kits and the water packed in the cargo trailer, i believe we could easily grab everything on the list and be out the door within 15 minutes.
as always if you have suggestions, please leave a comment. i am certain this could have been smoother and more efficient.
and thank you to all my readers for sticking with me thru this month-long series on emergency preparedness! your comments have helped me and others feel more confident about our readiness, and your support has been very soothing. :) now--go get your preparedness on!