I moved to Texas in June of 1992. By September of that year, I had already experienced my first evacuation for Andrew (I think). At the time I was an employee of a grocery store. I remember the day that everyone was to evacuate was supposed to be my day off. I got called in to work. The store was a nuthouse. People were frantic, clearing off shelves and fighting over bottles of water. It was crazy. My canned good isle was decimated.
At 2 pm the store manager decided to shut things down so that the employees could get out of town. Of course people kept coming to the store and were quite angry when they found the doors were locked. They were yelling at us and saying stuff like, ” what are we supposed to do?” My thought was, “you have had 4 days warning, why are you just now getting to the grocery store?” I really don’t feel sorry for people like that.
Anyway, we left town and fortunately our area was spared.
My next evacuation occured just a couple of years ago. For the life of me, I can’t remember which hurricane it was. We were spared any damage from that hurricane too. Of course I should be happy but I know EVENTUALLY we probably won’t be so fortunate! That’s why you have to plan!
It’s not looking like Rita will hit my area. However, things can change quickly. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a plan that can be implemented fairly quickly. So, here’s my list of action items:
1. Buy plywood and cut it to fit all my doors and windows. I don’t know where I’m going to keep all this extra wood, but I guess I’ll have to find a place.
2. Buy plastic totes so that things like pictures, albums, and other irreplaceable things can be packed away in a hurry.
3. Pack up all personal finance files and important papers. I keep these all in one location so that they can be grabbed easily. Pay any pending bills so that you don’t forget about them.
4. Pack up the laptop and the external hard drive.
5. Pack up books in totes and place on top of tables so that should the house flood, those items might be spared. I have a lot of books. A lot of those books would be hard to replace. Besides, I think it is prudent to do as much as you can to prevent damage.
6. Wash the dog. It’s no fun traveling with a smelly dog.
7. Wash the kids. It’s no fun traveling with smelly kids.
8. Get cash.
9. Put gas in the cars.
10. Make sure you have bottle water.
I’m sure there are other items to add to the list. I’ll add them when I think of them.