If we learned nothing else from the night of October 8-9, 2017, it was that we need to BE PREPARED. How many people woke up in pitch darkness, groping for flashlights, shoes, clothes, phones – and a well-stocked GO-BAG?
“WHAT?” you say. “I have been meaning to do that but………” It became very clear as we lived through those next couple of weeks that we wish we’d prepared better. We didn’t know from one day to the next whether our homes would still be there when we were allowed back into Oakmont.
So – take heed of all the helpful hints we publish on a regular basis. Attend Emergency Fairs, look online for updated information. You can’t over-prepare, and even if you did go overboard, wouldn’t you rather that, than be left adrift in an unfamiliar place with nothing at all, and have to re-create your life.
If a police officer or emergency worker knocked on you door and told you had to evacuate in 5 minutes, would you know what to bring? You would if you had planned ahead and have these items in a Go-Bag. The content of this bag varies by individuals but has many things in common such as a flashlight, your glasses, medications, clothing and important documents – copies of Passports, Drivers Licenses, Credit Cards and relatives names and contact information. Really important items should be stored at the bank in a safety deposit box. Important documents and photos stored on your computer can be put on a flash drive or portable backup drive.
Take photos of EVERYTHING in your house and yard for insurance purposes. Put copies, paper or electronic, in your Go-Bag, the insurance companies will ask you how many windows and what they were made of – down to the finest detail. We know, we had a burned out family staying with us for 2 months after they lost everything. They sat for hours trying to remember how many doors, what was the kitchen sink made of, how big was it? Could they prove it? Any receipts they had stored had gone up in flames.
The OEPC has published a general list of recommended items which should be included in a Go-Bag. And don’t forget the special items you may need. For instance, if you have a pet, you need to plan for them as well. Since all of us have different items we need, prepare your list and assemble your Go-Bag ahead of time. Trying to do it during an emergency does not work, as we found out two years ago. BE PREPARED!