How prepared are you for an emergency? If a major storm, earthquake or fire should occur, do you have a go-bag ready? If you were given ten or twenty minutes to pack your most important worldly possessions, what would you take?
This wasn’t a mental exercise for me in May of this year. In fact, the entire population of my home city, Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada was evacuated on May 3, 2016 due to a massive wildfire. 90,000 people were forced from their homes, some with ten minutes or less notice. We weren’t about to return for over a month.
I’ve often thought it would be a good idea to prepare for an emergency by creating a list of items I should take in case I have to leave my home in a hurry. But, I never did it. Something else always came up. So, there I was, hearing on the radio that my part of the city was now under a mandatory evacuation notice. Everyone had to get out now. What do you think I took?
- Our pets – 3 cats and a dog. The cats went into carriers, while the dog rode shotgun next to me.
- Food and water for the cats and dog.
- Cat litter and a small cat litter box.
- Prescription medications
- Overnight bags with a couple of day’s worth of clothing for myself and my husband.
- Water and granola bars for us.
- My computer
- My husband’s computer.
- Mortgage and insurance papers.
- ID and passports.
- I also grabbed my kindle and charge cords.
- Bananas – I absolutely refused to leave without my bananas.
My husband got home before I left and loaded the six cats we’d been caring for from the local animal shelter (evacuated two days before) into our old van and we were off. To sit in traffic as the flames got closer and closer.
Eventually we made it out, but it took 2 days to get to safety. I slept about 2 ½ hours in my car in those 2 days and moaned about how I wished I’d brought so many things (like more underwear).
I’m not the only one who packed not enough of something or even the wrong things. One lady packed cheese slices and snow pants. Another fellow pack the bottom half of a blender, but not the top half. A gal brought her stuffed and mounted bear head, while one father discovered that his son packed a genuine samurai sword. Hundreds of people didn’t have enough gas in their vehicles to get far down the highway and had to abandon their cars and trucks along the side of the road. The scene would have fit right in to an episode of The Walking Dead.
This is not an intellectual exercise. It really could happen to you.
I wasn’t ready to run, are you?
Want to get ready for your own dash to safety? Check out these resource pages for tips, tricks and food for thought:
- Emergency Kit infographic: http://www.julieroweauthor.com/emergency-kit-infographic.html
- Ready.Gov’s build a kit page: https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit
- CDC Emergency Preparedness page: https://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness/kit/disasters/
About the book:
When flaky Las Vegas hairdresser Molly McLaren overhears a Russian hit man planning to kill a US congressman and take out Hoover Dam in the process, she becomes a target for murder. Now, on the run from the assassin and a dirty cop, she winds up in an eighteen wheeler with an ex-cop sporting a bum leg, a bad attitude, and a body built for loving.
Grey Wilson just wanted to be left alone. No more Las Vegas. No more casinos. And no more floozy women like the one his best friend sent him to pick up on the side of the road. She talks fast, but her endless curves and sensuous nature make him want to slow down. Which is not in the cards. Grey knows he needs to unload his excess baggage. And quick.
But when someone tries to kill the Vegas beauty, Molly captures his heart with her backbone of steel, and brains to boot. Now in order to grasp the future that had once seemed impossible, Molly and Grey need to keep Hoover Dam, the congressman, and their love from being blown sky-high.
Find it online: