Experts predict that 2020 will be one of the busiest hurricane season on record and it seems if the intensity of the storms continues to increase. Add to that the severe storms in the mid-west and wildfires in California and more and more people are being told to evacuate their homes to stay safe.
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Even in the best of times, leaving your home and prized possessions can be stressful, but the current COVID-19 pandemic makes things even worse.
Here are some things to keep in mind to ensure you and your loved ones are better prepared for the next emergency.
Make a Family Plan
It’s important to know what you will do in the event of an emergency. Check with your local emergency management department to know where the closest shelter will be and what you are expected to bring with you.
When family members are away from home, make sure they know not only where they have to go but where you will be going if you have to evacuate.
If you need to leave the area, check with friends and relatives to see if they can take you in until the emergency passes. As an alternative, consider making a reservation at a hotel for a few days. If you ultimately don’t need to go there, you may have to pay for a one night stay but it better than having nowhere to stay.
Prepare a “Go Kit”
You should always have an emergency “Go Kit” packed and available. Sometimes, evacuation orders come quickly and you won’t have time to think about what you need to take with you. Preparing your kit in advance assures it will be ready when you are.
Depending on your needs, it may makes sense to let each family member have their own kit, so they can take what is important to them. Here is a list of just some of what you should consider for your Go Kit.
- Non-perishable foods like energy bars
- Enough bottled water to last you a couple of days, but keep the bottles small enough to be easily transported in your bag
- Hand sanitizer
- Face Masks
- Vinyl or nitrile gloves
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Important papers like birth certificates, insurance papers, passport, etc.
How to Prepare Your Documents
Many people don’t keep important papers readily available in their homes. Instead they keep them in a home safe or a safe deposit box at their local bank. In any case, it may be difficult to collect all your important documents when you are in a hurry to evacuate the area.
That’s why we think it is a good idea to digitize your documents ahead of time and store them on a USB drive or in the cloud, so you can access them from anywhere.
For all of your document preparation needs, consider the WorkForce ES-500WR receipt scanner from Epson.
With the fastest scan speeds in its class, feature-rich software and receipt management functionality to easily upload documents to a laptop, smartphone, tablet, or online storage space, the reliable ES-500WR helps streamline the process of organizing and sharing documents, receipts and expenses, helping to keep your home office and work station decluttered.
We previously reviewed the Epson Workforces ES-500WR scanner and you can check out our full review here.
Don’t Forget Your Photos
Whether locked away in boxes or stored in albums, they are cherished memories that are often one-of-a-kind. Like important documents, it’s important to prepare in advance to preserve these cherished memories.
Families can help keep irreplaceable records and memories safe with the Epson FastFoto FF-680W scanner, which can scan thousands of documents and photos – as fast as one photo per second. The FastFoto scans both the front and back of images to preserve dates and personal handwritten notes. After scanning, easily upload to the cloud to share with the entire family, even with those thousands of miles away, and save on a hard drive or flash drive to keep in the family “Go Kit.”
We also reviewed the Epson FastFoto FF-680W and you can read our full review here.
Take Your Power With You
Whether sheltering in place, or evacuating to a shelter, you may find it difficult to have ready access to electric power. Because our phones are often our lifeline to family,friends and local authorities, like reporting a power outage, it’s important to have the ability to recharge, at lease a couple of times. Having one or more power banks could make the difference between staying informed and literally, being in the dark.
There is certainly no shortage of power banks and we have looked at many different types. Check out our reviews here and select the one that’s right for you.
The Bottom Line
We are not suggesting that our list is all inclusive. There may be items you want to add or remove based on your individual needs. What’s important is to be prepared and take the advice of local authorities.
Most of your personal possessions, while important to you, can be replaced, and with a little planning, even those that can’t can be protected.
In any case, nothing is more valuable than the health and well-being of you and your loved ones so consider safety first.
Do you have a “Go Kit” for emergency situations? What do you keep in it? Why not join the conversation and leave a comment below?
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