Continued from part one
The first thing you need to do in order to have a successful evacuation is to prepare. I fully believe in the seven P’s: Proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance. To really prepare, your significant other MUST be on board, but don’t force it. My convincing the wife to get into preparedness started as a “Hurricane Kit” and now the wife is as into it as I am. Don’t overdo it, or the wife will think you are nuts and will not help you.
When you evacuate, the event will be much smoother if you can safeguard your life and not be living as a refugee for the next few years. To do this, we need our vital documents. This is how I did it.
I got three 4 GB USB thumb drives. You can get them for about 5 bucks each. I installed a strong encryption program (TrueCrypt- it works, and the price is right- free) on the drive, with a 1 GB partition. Instructions come with the software. I put a copy of the software on the drive, so I could use it from any computer that I could find.
In that encrypted partition, I put a copy of my Quicken file, along with scans of birth certificates, licenses, certifications, transcripts, credit cards (front and back), medical histories, credit records, diplomas, and any other documents I could think of. In the remaining unencrypted space, I put copies of things like pictures I didn’t want to lose, and other keepsakes that were not sensitive in nature.
I then put a copy on my keychain, and one each in my glove box, and my wife’s glovebox. (I later bought a fourth, and store it at work in my locker). I update them as needed, including a monthly update of the Quicken file. That way, if I evacuate due to a Katrina style disaster, I have everything I need to get started rebuilding my life.
Then, we plan out our rally points. The closest could be the mailbox in the front yard. Then, in order of distance, my friend’s house (1 mile away), her mom’s house (5 miles away), my office (12 miles), a friend’s house (40 miles), her dad’s house (200 miles), and a certain undisclosed hotel that is about 230 miles away. Depending on the disaster and its scope, we can head for any one of these places.
The 90 second plan is an emergency evacuation plan where there is not much time to get out- like a house fire. Emergencies that are high risk and short time are what this is for. This plan involves nothing more than us each grabbing a pet, our keys, and (optional) a sidearm and getting the heck out of the house. We meet at a rally point in the front yard, or if that is dangerous, we head for one of the next two closest ones.