with a fire looming and parts of my mums area being quickly evacuated she has been putting bags in the car along with her neighbours. Thankfully they have warning and time to pack up. But what if you are woken in the night by a smoke alarm? Or a bushfire strikes and you only have moments to get out? Would you be able to grab what you need? I watched footage from the 2009 canberra bushfire (which i was in) and the emergency services said that a number of people grabbed dressing gowns but forgot phones and proper shoes in their rush to leave.
I have an emergency backpack by the door but thought i should double check what i had in it, and im glad i did because i had a shirt for each of us but no pants…can you imaging wearing a nightie out of the house and not having anything to change into even to go to the shop and buy new clothes? I also had not packed nappies or wipes. Essential if you have a baby. So i spent 10mins repacking it and also packed a second bag for Rue to carry, it has some more toys and a small book, more nappies, a sippy cup and some longlife milk and a small towel that he can use as a blanket also.
- When considering what you should pack think about the things you use everyday.
- Make a list one day if its helpful.
- Rue wont sleep without a bottle of milk.
- A change of clothes,
- i packed 2 new toothbrushes,
- sanitary items,
- If you are in an evacuation center bring something to read (that doesnt use power), toys for the kids or coloring pencils.
- A small photo album can store favourite photos.
Some people carry photocopies of important documents but i find it easier to take pictures and email them. That way they are safe from floods also.
Take a photo of your insurance companys phone number and your details so that you can call them straight away and start getting a claim through. Also take photos of large ticket items in your home that you would like replaced, like the tv or game systems, or my sewing machine 😁 this way you can show the insurance company and save some red tape. I lost the contents of my laundry to a fire once and it was very hard to remember and list each item.
If you are in a bushfire or flood prone area make a harddrive backup with these documents and photos also and give it to a friend or family member in another area. Ask friends and family if you do have to leave home can you stay at their house. Best to know if they have room before you come knocking on their door.
Think of pets also. Bring a zip lock bag of dry food for each pet and keep leashes by the door. Most shelters wont alow pets but often people will post on facebook that they will house them until you find somewhere to stay.
If there is a fire in your area make sure you have enough fuel to get out! Power can go out which means pumps wont work, nothing worse than breaking down in the middle of a danger zone.
And remember everyone, help each other. Pull your hose over the fence so others can reach it if they need too. Offer time on a generator to charge neighbours phones to call loved ones. Hot showers for those in shelters can raise hopes.