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Fires, floods, earthquakes, and more are all things faced by people somewhere every day in the United States. For city dwellers, the process of evacuation is simpler, they may have multiple directions to take, multiple options for shelter, fewer animals to consider, and time to plan.
If you live in the country on a homestead, chances are there are not as many directions for travel, shelter options are limited (especially if you have livestock), you have many animals with diverse needs to consider, and you are often not warned until it is nearly too late.
You and your family members need to have go-bags prepared and in one location, ready to go if a fire, flood, or other natural disasters should strike. Make an Emergency Plan, sign up for emergency alerts on your home and cell phones, prepare a first aid kit, insure your property, and protect important documents.
Here’s what you need in your personal emergency kit (recommended by ready.gov):
- Water – you will need one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
- Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- Flashlight – Solar powered is great because you won’t need batteries
- Extra batteries – if you can’t find solar-powered flashlights
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
- Prescription medications
- over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
- Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Cash or traveler’s checks
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
- Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Homesteaders need to not just consider their own needs but the needs of their animals. So go bags for themselves and each class of animal, plus secure traveling plans like trailers, pens or crates will be necessary. Bags of feed, water containers, medical kits, and other necessities should also be in one handy location, ready to go. Large animals should be trained to load and smaller animals should be trained to come when called.
This all sounds like a tall order but it isn’t hard to do if you train them from an early age. Food is always a good incentive paired with a special call.
Check with your local disaster preparedness group for where you are meant to go during an evacuation and where the closest evacuation point is for people with animals. It is usually a fairground or other similar facility. Sometimes horse arenas will open up for this purpose.
Get your go bag in order and post a pic.