Today I welcome Kathryn Jane to Terry’s Place. Kathryn has worn many different hats in her life, and among her favorites are, author, pet wrangler, horse trainer, and teacher.
In the wake of Oklahoma’s tornadoes and Colorado’s wildfires, I’m betting many people are thanking God or their lucky stars, for being spared – while others are still reeling.
And I understand.
I once faced the possibility of emergency evacuation, and let me tell you, sitting down and making a plan saved my sanity. I had to figure out how to evacuate fifty-plus horses, three goats, a llama, six cats, a dog, a hubby and myself – with only a pickup truck
I won’t go into great detail here, but in the end, I was able to keep food down and fall asleep at night because I had a clear mental picture of riding one horse and leading two others while the rest followed along. Hubby would use the pickup for the dog, goats, cats, and llama.
My plan was complicated. Lots of luck and precision timing would have been needed to get all the horses through the one narrow gate to the highway – did I mention that these were mostly yearling thoroughbred colts and fillies? But it was doable.
Thankfully, the winds turned the fire and my plan was never tested. But years later, studying Emergency Planning in University, I learned some of the simpler things a person can do to lessen their pre-emergency anxiety, and/or lighten their load if life smacks them upside the head with the unthinkable.
Most important of all is the GRAB AND GO Bag.
Why? Because if you wake up to the smell of smoke in the house, if law enforcement pounds on your door and tells you there’s a gas leak in your neighborhood, if there’s a tornado warning, a blizzard, power lines down, a flash flood, or an earthquake – your GRAB AND GO Bag may be all you have time to reach for on the way out the door.
And what will be in this magic bag? Well, that depends on what you put in it. Think about what you would need if you had to spend up to a week away from your home, possibly without electricity or cellphone service. Here’s a short list of the basics.
1) Medications: 7 days of whatever you need, and a paper copy of the prescriptions.
2) Cash: $50 to $100 dollars for incidentals – if power is out, bank cards and credit cards will be useless.
3) Photocopies of important papers. Marriage License, Birth Certificates, Passports, Custody decrees, Bank and Credit card information – a tiny home safe is a great idea, less than $40 and will fit into your bag.
4) A photograph of every family member and pet – or anyone you may need to look for.
5) A physical list of telephone numbers of anyone you may need to reach – family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, pastor, doctor, veterinarian, etc.
6) The phone numbers of your OUT OF TOWN CONTACTS – these are especially important for touching base with everyone. Example: I live in an earthquake zone full of bridges. There’s every possibility the big one will hit and my family won’t be able to reach each other physically (or by phone if the cell towers are down). BUT. When we get access to a landline, we’ll each check in with Auntie, who lives several hundred miles away. She can tell us who she’s heard from, who is safe and what shelters they are staying at.
If you tuck these important items in a backpack, you’ll have room for extra shoes, clothes, first aid kit etc., while leaving your hands free to hang onto kids, grab pets, open doors, climb down a ladder etc.
I hope some of you will take the time to make yourself a GRAB AND GO Bag, but most of all, I hope you never have to use it!
Kathryn’s newest release: Do Not Tell Me No ~ A mature, kick-ass woman, is determined to find her family, in spite of a crazy horse, a mysterious helicopter, a frustrated hero and farcical felons.
For more about Kathryn Jane and her books, visit www.kathrynjane.com