What is an Emergency Evacuation Kit? Simply put, it is a carefully prepared collection of items which will enable you and your family to survive in your car for three days or more in a remote location without any services. Is Cokesbury’s Emergency Preparedness Committee going off the deep end here? Definitely not! The Emergency Evacuation Kit is a central feature of the FEMA Guide to Citizen Preparedness. The Federal government believes that you should be prepared for evacuation if necessary by having this kit..
You should keep your kit in your home, ready to go. Use one or more large plastic storage crates to hold most of the contents, and make sure that it/they will fit into your vehicle! Some of the suggested kit contents may already be items that you routinely keep in your vehicle; if so, there is no need to duplicate them.
Store your kit in a cool, dry area, but keep it accessible. In periods of high Homeland Security Advisory level (for instance Orange or Red alert threat levels), you may wish to keep the kit in your vehicle, but be careful: vehicle interiors and trunks can become excessively hot from April through October. High storage temperatures will lead to damage or early degradation of food, medicines, and batteries.
Store battery-operated items without the batteries installed. This will prevent slow draining and allow you to keep all the kit batteries in one place, making it easier to swap the batteries for fresh ones. Batteries should be replaced with new ones every 12 months; removed batteries will still be fine for household use. Keep a list of the sizes and quantities needed.
Food items except bottled water should be consumed and replaced every 6 months.
Assume that, if you evacuate, you should prepare to be living and sleeping in your vehicle or camping out in rustic conditions. In favorable circumstances you may be able to stay in a civil emergency shelter or perhaps a motel.
Everyone will have slightly different needs, depending upon the number, age, activity level, and health condition of family members. Not every item listed in the following suggestions is necessarily essential or appropriate for everyone.