Living in New Orleans I always considered myself being hurricane ready, until the big one came. I don't have to say her name do I?
Anyway, you think to pack for the weekend and you'll be back home in no time.
This is not always the case and I don't want you to be like me, unprepared for the worse. Prepare now! Here is a list I wish I would have had while planning to evacuate at the last minute. (meaning don't wait until the last minute)
1.) Bring more than 3 days worth of clothes. Pack for a week if you have room.
2.) I would have gone to the pharmacy and filled all our prescriptions.
3.) I would have taken a lot more money.
4.) I would have reserved a room a long time before it was time to evacuate, esp. with the dogs. Only a hand full of hotels would take dogs, so we ended up in a horror movie type motel. Yuck! But I bless them for taking us in.
5.) I would have learned how to TEXT on my cell. The cell phones don't work at all. The systems were down and I couldn't reach 1/2 my family.
6.) Which brings me to #6. Get info on all your family and friends on where they are going. Stay together if you can.
7.) Buy lots and lots of water, batteries, candles, can food, breakfast bars, drinks, etc. (bring some with you, and leave some behind)
8.) Turn your refrigerator to the coldest temp. Your food might last a little longer.
9.) When you are gone, buy tons of ice & food before you come back. (bring ice chest with you when you evacuate.) Oh and don't forget your favorite coffee. Other states may not have what you like. You'll need it if you are staying up driving all night or if you are holed up in a stinky hotel room for days glued to the TV.
10.) Fill up as soon as you know there is a storm coming. The gas lines will be insane!
11.) While away buy several gas containers and fill them. (if you have a trailer, put them on the trailer and not in your car.)
12.) If you can buy a generator before the storm, great! If not, buy one while you are evacuated. (like I said before, buy a small trailer to put behind your vehicle if you can for the gas and generator).
13.) If you have time, get your car oil checked and changed. Check your tires too. Don't want to end up stranded on side the road.
14.) Find a place for your pets way in advance if you can.
15.) Talk with children's schools and see if they have a place online to hear updates about schools. Bring kids books and uniforms.
16.) Did I say bring all important papers such as, insurance, bank info, bills, etc.
17.) Grab your photo albums & keepsake stuff.
18.) Back up your computers on a jump drive. Bring laptop if you can or raise your CPU off the floor. Raise all important things off the floor or put in ziplock bags.
19.) Bring all chargers. Cell phone, etc.
20.) If you have a gun, bring it. I wish we would have. Things got a little crazy coming back to NOLA after Katrina.
21.) Grab one of your phone books from home. If you pretty much know you'll have damage before you get home, call a contractor now and book them before you have to wait in line of a hundred other people. (my hubby is a contractor, so we didn't need this one, but all our friends and clients did.)
22.) Get your elderly loved ones out of harms way. They can't help themselves. Help a neighbor too if you can. Exchange #'s with your neighbors, they might be home before you and can call you or vice versa.
23.) And people, tape does not work, it is useless. Board up instead.
24.) Leave if you can before everyone else leaves. The grid-lock will be hell! (esp. with kids, elderly and animals)
I know I'm missing so many things, but this is enough to get you started. Good luck! I'll keep y'all in my prayers and hope Irene or whatever storm comes your way dies down before reaching you.
There was one good thing that came out of Katrina (oh, I said her name)and that was I started writing, and then became published. She taught me to stop putting life on hold, and grab your dreams and go for it.