From a wildfire evacuee in Texas...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Texas could really use our prayers right now. They are estimating that over 1000 homes have been lost already and more than 5000 people have been evacuated, and there isn't a clear end in sight right now...

Article from CNN - Texas wildfire evacuee

Having had a little taste of what these people are going through (we had our own wildfire evacuation last year, but on a much smaller scale), I cannot stress enough how important it is to have an evacuation plan in place BEFORE an emergency. As the evacuee in this article states, she had 5 minutes to get out, and even though she had thought about it in advance, when the time came, she froze and didn't quite know what to do. I know many of my neighbors up the hill felt exactly the same way when they were given 10 minutes to evacuate last summer.

Make a plan NOW - put a list together NOW of all the things you would need/want to grab if you had 5 minutes to evacuate and you faced losing your home. What would be most important to you? Is it easily accessible? Is it easily portable? Is there any way to protect it from fire or flood danger if it isn't portable?

Post your list inside a kitchen cabinet so it is handy. List the item, it's location, and who is responsible for getting it and getting it out of the house.

Here are some lists that others have put together to get you started:

Evaucation Grab & Go List from Prepared LDS Family

Evacuation Grab & Go List from Be Ready Utah (courtesty of Zion's Bank)

Prioritized Grab & Go List from iPrepared

You will significantly decrease the amount of items on your list if you have 72-hr kits already packed and ready to go in advance. It can make a HUGE difference in an emergency evacuation situation where time is absolutely critical.