Insurance and Finance

Preparation Key to a Safe Evacuation

By Lisa Martin 1.4.13

Flood. Fire. An act of Terrorism.

If disaster strikes and you are forced to evacuate your home, you won’t have much time to assemble your most essential belongings. The Texas Department of Public Safety recommends you stash as many of the following items as possible into one bag you can quickly grab and exit with in a crisis.

  • Photo ID or driver’s license
  • Medications, extra eyeglasses, hearing aids, insect repellant and other essential personal-care items, including diapers and wipes for young children.
  • Flashlight with batteries
  • Battery-operated portable radio
  • Bottled drinking water and food, even if you plan to head to a shelter
  • An extra set of clothes and shoes
  • First-Aid kit
  • Contact numbers of friends, family members, doctors, and your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance agent
  • Money

In all of the chaos, remember your four-legged family members. “Please take your pets with you if you need to evacuate,” says Dr. Dick Green, director of Disaster Response for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Field Investigations and Response team. If possible, check beforehand with the hotel or shelter you plan to seek refuge in just to make sure pets are accepted.

Before heading out the door, here’s what Dr. Green advises pet owners to pack:

  • 3-7 days worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food
  • Paper towels and/or litter in a disposable aluminum roasting pan
  • Pet feeding dishes
  • Garbage bags for pet waste
  • Extra collar or harness, plus an additional leash
  • Copies of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires. Remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit lest those items go bad.
  • Enough bottled water for 7 days for each person and pet
  • A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each of your animals
  • Recent photos of your pets in case you are separated and need to make Lost posters.