This is the next installment in my planning for emergencies series. The nine minute drill is a rapid evacuation, where you need to leave in a hurry and can expect to be gone for 3 to five days. This is good for short to medium warning time threats with medium to high risk, like a neighborhood ordered to evacuate for an approaching fire, a chemical spill, or some other localized emergency.

Planning: We established this plan, where we grab the pets, our emergency kits (below), and we consider also grabbing long guns and ammo. If together, we leave in one vehicle. If not, you text the other that you are headed for (rally point) and go. The other will catch up. Don’t forget to bring your wallet and any extra cash you have. If the power goes out, or it is a banking holiday, you may not be able to access cash or credit cards. I also have a WD external hard drive that has all of the backup files for my computer, and I try to grab that. Our rally points would be a little farther away. Six to 100 miles should do it.

To prepare for this, we had to get an emergency kit together. What I did was to pack emergency kits for everyone. There are tons of opinions on how to do this, and I will just throw out a few thoughts here:

I got pet carriers for our two pets. In each carrier, I put a small nylon bag with a collar, leash, 4 single serving cans of pet food, and 4 half liter bottles of water. A calming aid for pets should also be put in there. This will keep your animal family members calm when needed.

The bags for adults will vary, depending on where you live. For example, a person in Montana needs to worry about sub-zero temperatures, while a person in Florida needs sunscreen. Mine is designed to get me away from the house in a hurry and sustain me for three to five days. I put it in a backpack for easy portability. Here is what I think is a minimum: First Aid, heat and cooking, light, tools, communications, food and water,shelter, and security.

A first aid kit. (Note for you medics: You do NOT need ET tubes and bag valve masks. There is not going to be a need to set up your own EMS agency.) Make sure it does have: Sudafed, Ibuprofen, Immodium (diarrhea can be life threatening), Benadryl, Cough medicine (I like Mucinex, a pill is less likely to leak all over the place) antibiotic ointment (infections are nasty during disasters when health care is hard to come by) some baby wipes, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, Bandaids, medical tape, and small sterile dressings. 4x4s will do. A small container of gold bond powder is a life saver when your feet have been wet for days. Also, a spare pair of comfortable socks, underwear, a hand towel, and a tshirt.

Heat and cooking. Three different ways to make fire. I have waterproof matches in a pill bottle, a lighter, and one of these. Here is one in action.

Light  A flashlight with spare batteries. I got this one. It takes a single AA battery and puts out 200 lumens, but only costs $40. I also threw 4 chem lights in there.

Tools A multitool (like the Leatherman) and a pocketknife are indispensable. So is a compass, and it helps to keep a GPS in the car. I also have good road maps of the entire state of Florida in the car under the seat, as well as AAA maps of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. My pickup truck has a built in 500 watt inverter for charging stuff. There is an inverter under the spare tire that is powered by a cigarette lighter. A pair of gloves to protect your hands.

Communications  I put a cell phone charger for our cell phones inside our vehicles, I put one of these that I bought at a local grocery store for $12 inside my kit, and got a pair of FRS radios that I keep on a charger. The wife and I are going to get a HAM license soon. That will expand our options for radios.

Food and water: I included some energy bars (less likely to melt in the heat than chocolate) oatmeal, granola, or similar bars will do. Four MRE meals, and 8 half liter bottles of water.

Shelter: A space blanket, and a cheap poncho.

Security I put a 20 round box of ammo and an extra mag sealed in a Ziploc bag with a desiccant in our kits. 9mm for her Glock 19 in her kit, .45 ACP for mine. I also put an envelope in each kit that contains $200 (20- one dollar bills, 16- five dollar bills, 6- ten dollar bills, and 2 twenties) and a credit card with a $1000 limit.

Remember that this is an emergency kit, we aren’t trying to reestablish civilization or start a war. We just need a quick way to access supplies for a three to five day emergency. This bag has come inhandy when I had to leave to go somewhere in a hurry. Some stuff gets taken out, and some added, as I use the kit and see what works. For example, I deployed to Mississippi for Hurricane Katrina and discovered the need for Glod Bond. Next post will be about the 90 minute and 9 hour plans.

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