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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Thirty Seconds to Evacuate- what do you take?

This week, an acquaintance of mine sent this email out:

"Last night, our downstairs neighbors' dryer caught on fire and we needed to evacuate.  It all turned out okay for most of us, only the neighbors with the fire had damage.  But the thought I had was - it always happens to someone else until it happens to you.  

So here's your exercise - you now have 30 seconds to evacuate, what are you going to grab...ready go...

The neighbors with the fire had the bucket they tried putting the fire out with.  No coats or jackets.  They called the fire department and knocked on the doors on our side of the building.  Very altruistic.  

Their next door neighbor grabbed her dog.  I can't remember if she had a jacket on or not.  She said she wished she had grabbed her car keys.  

The other upstairs neighbor - they had on their pj's and sweaters.  I don't think they grabbed their dog because I didn't see it out there.  

Thanks to the church teaching emergency preparedness, I had - kids, coats, shoes, keys, wallet, cell phone, my glasses, two of the four 72-hour kits (the ones with money), and my bike trailer (it kept the kids contained while outside, plus it was by the 72-hour kits, plus I love it).  

I'm really glad I had at least practiced mentally at some point.  I probably could have cut off several seconds if I had physically practiced (I did my fair share of scrambling).  Things I wished I would have grabbed - external hard drive, the other two 72-hour kits, and an emergency binder containing all our important information (SS cards, birth certificates, insurance docs, etc.), but it doesn't exist yet (I bought the binder and page protectors last week but haven't put it together yet).  

Other things I learned - it is hard to come off an adrenaline rush like that easily.  I'm still shaky today and nothing bad even happened (to us).  Putting something for comfort in the 72-hour kits means a lot more to me now.  Also, the fire department got here quickly (they are a couple blocks away), but it still takes awhile for them to set up, get the water hose connected and in position.  I'm sure it was a matter of seconds, but seconds are sooooo slow when you're desperate for things to get moving.  And last, Brett wasn't here, so the kids and I needed to be more prepared to do it by ourselves.

Anyway, we're fine and I feel weird sharing, but I really felt like I needed to share to encourage you to make sure you are prepared.  We know what we're doing for family night this week.  =) "

I hope you all think about emergencies like this and have a plan in mind.  As for me, I'm probably in big trouble because my important stuff is all over the place.

And here is what another one of my friends said:

"I was just going to add that at night I always sleep with my purse, phone and a pair of shoes by the bed. If there is a snow or storm warning I tuck a bra, my contacts and phone charger in my purse, too. I also make sure there is nothing blocking the stairs or doors in the event we have to get out in a hurry in the dark.

Let’s just hope we don’t have to put our plans into action.."