It occurred to me earlier this week while I was watching Hurricane Irene develop that I've yet to see a blog that tells military families some important things they might want to do if they end up needing to Hurri-VAC. So....here's my small attempt to help out other military families with some helpful tips that our family has done & some stuff that families Hurri-VACing for the first time might not have thought of :)
Most military families living on coastal bases or posts will already have chosen an EVAC site and provided it to their chain of command. Make sure you also give this information to extended family as well as phone numbers to reach you at if you do have to leave. Another really important thing to remember (as my neighbor told me last year, bless his heart) is that if you are going to leave, leave early. If you wait until the night before a hurricane is supposed to hit your area, the interstates and surrounding highways will more than likely be clogged with people doing the same thing. Leave at least the morning before the storm is supposed to hit if you're going to Hurri-VAC
Yeah, I know you're trying to get your family to safety and paperwork is the last thing on your mind. But, if the worst happens you're going to want to have it with you. If you don't already have a small portable fire safe, this would be the opportune time to get one. Inside that safe should go things like Powers of Attorney, Last Will & Testament, any type of trust fund set up for the kiddos, DD 214 copy 1 & 4 if the spouse is a Veteran, social security cards, savings bonds, car titles, older copies of military orders if you still have them, etc. You might also at this point want to consider backing up your desktop computer on an external hard drive & taking that as well. One last thing that is really important for our family since our only income thus far is my husband's TSgt pay....if you have any tax documents you've kept for filing bring those with you. We really need the tax deduction we get each year, and I'm sure other military families do as well.
If anyone in your family is on prescription medication & is running low, get those filled before you leave.
I call them Go bags from back when I was enlisted & my husband calls his emergency bags Go bags, but they're really just bags with your clothing & toiletries. For a Hurri-VAC I usually pack about 3 days worth of clothes for everyone & throw them into duffels. Much easier than lugging suitcases & you can always do laundry if need be.
If you're Hurri-VACing & have pets taking at least 4 days worth of food is probably a good idea. If your pets are like mine & are on prescription food, take the prescription with you in case you need to buy more.
Some other just general things that might be a good idea -
*Take pics of your home before you leave with a digital camera in case any damage occurs so you have them for insurance purposes later.
*If you have valuable stuff close to windows, either move the stuff away from the windows or get small tarps to cover & protect them as best as you can.
*Take a copy of the military member's recall roster so you have important numbers if you need them.
That should just about do it.....hope that helps & please feel free to add additional comments :)