Firstly, I want to reassure everyone that this article is not being published due to any alarming weather conditions being forecast right now, but with the memory of that Gota Fria in October 2007, I thought it would be wise to pass on this helpful information compiled by Jill Leonard of the Local Fire and Weather Watch Group.
The worst thing you can be in the face of fire or flood is unprepared! It risks you and your family’s lives! Being prepared is so simple. Here are a few ideas for you to think about (especially when fire or stormy seasons are upon us!)
MOST IMPORTANT……FOR ALL EMERGENCIES CALL 112
So Here it is…….THE EVACU-PACK
Firstly get yourself a strong box/es or suitcase/s:
Before moving on to contents of an Evacu-Pack lets think about people and pets!
- PEOPLE: First and foremost make a plan for getting out of the house – are the exits blocked with items you could fall over in the dark, should the electric go out? Is there a torch handy to shine in the event of a power cut? Make sure everyone knows the plan and what their individual roles are.
- PETS: Keep pet carriers and lead readily available to lead pets to safety/get them into vehicles.
CONTENTS OF YOUR EVACU-PACK
- EMERGENCY FOOD/WATER. Snacks for the kids, formula for babies, bottle/s of water, pet food and pet treats (You may have to use them to calm pets down)
- 2. PHOTOS: Put all the negatives, CDs or pen drives of photos in the pack. If there are any special photo albums, put them in too. Or in this day of the digital cloud store them there.
- PAPERS: Consider a bank deposit box and put all your important papers in there, just keeping copies at home. If you don’t have a bank deposit box put all your important papers in the Evacu-Pack: Insurance policies, Birth and Marriage certificates, I.D/Residencia copies, Passports (or copies), pet passports/documents, house deeds, rental contracts, pension details, health cards/documents (or copies), copies of your bank/credit cards, contracts, guarantees, in fact ANY documents you just know would be an absolute nightmare to replace!
- PRESCRIPTION MEDICINES:Don’t forget to take your medications with you. Don’t forget the ones that have to be refrigerated like insulin. If you have spare medication put them in the Evacu-Pack. (Remember to look at the “use by” date every so often and replace them if necessary!)
- MONEY: The Evacu-Pack is where you would keep an emergency amount of money. You may not be able to use an ATM in the event of a power outage.
- . PETROL/DIESEL: If you can make sure your car always has half a tank of fuel. Evacuation routes could be bumper to bumper traffic. Having a tank at least half filled will keep you less stressed. Also consider having a small amount of cash, stashed in the car because again you may not be able to use your card at the petrol station/ATM.
- 7. ADDRESS/PHONE BOOK: If you don’t have the important addresses/phone numbers stored on your phone then use an address book and keep it in your Evacu-Pack.
- 8. CHARGERS: Keep them handy to throw in the Evacu-Pack at the last minute! Chargers for phones, tablets, laptops etc. If nothing else they will occupy your kids to play with them if they are evacuated to a community centre etc!
- EMERGENCY CLOTHES: According to the weather conditions put a change of clothes in the Evacu-Pack. If you have babies remember nappies! Remember to grab your children’s favourite blanket, stuffed animal or toy. A game or a deck of cards would be handy in the Evacu-Pack to could keep kids occupied and calm too.
- 10. AN OLD CALENDAR: Handy to have stashed then you won’t forget those important dates! Birthdays, anniversaries etc. These items may be in your phone but if your battery runs down then you can’t get to them.
- PERSONAL PROTECTION FOR LADIES! Sorry guys mentioning this but ladies do have “that time of the month”! Be sure and pack a spare box of your preferred protection. It may be hard to find or the shops may be closed if you have been evacuated. Stress can cause our bodies to do strange things too. So be prepared. Take medication for cramps too.
- BATTERY POWERED RADIO: Worth considering! Tune it into a local radio station which you know is likely to have emergency bulletins.
- PHOTOS OR VIDEO OF YOUR HOUSE AND CONTENTS. Insurance companies are asking for proof of your belongings and the contents of your property when they are processing a claim. Something we are unlikely to be able to prove unless we have the written or photographic evidence.
- PATIENCE: This is one of the most important things to pack. Keep it inside of you so that you have a clear calm head. Having your Evacu-Pack prepared will help you keep patient. In the event of an evacuation there will be lots of displaced people. Being patient will make things less stressful. Your children need to see you calm and collected. This will help keep them calm too.
REMEMBER! We can fly in the face of danger and emergency if we are prepared. Don’t wait to prepare your Evacu-pack until you are being asked to evacuate! Everyone thinks that it could not happen to them.
Well it could and it is up to you to make sure you are prepared
Don’t wait! DO IT NOW!!
ABOVE ALL STAY SAFE EVERYONE!
We wish to thank Jill and her team for their hard work and dedication to the Facebook Group which is relied upon by so many in times of adverse weather conditions and fires in our local area. Here is the link again, for those who wish to join Local Fire and Weather Watch .
Also, the group is looking for more people to help in the day to day admin. If you have a few hours spare and would like to join and help Jill, please let us know.