must evacuate your house in an emergency, here are some important things
you should consider taking with you as you rush out the door, as
long as you can grab these items safely without risking lives.
Medicines & charger cords for cell phones are primary items people
forget. Photos are irreplaceable. Jewelry & guns are sought by
looters. Purses, wallets ID & cards for med insurance, credit cards
& eyeglasses are critical items to grab as you leave. This is
a list to help you remember.
be a good idea to place these items in a specific spot near your door,
front closet or window as a new habit to aid in your escape. I
suspect there will be another flood soon after your repairs are
complete. Perhaps again this year due to the warming oceans everyone
denies. I hope everyone has now learned to evacuate from the path of a
hurricane without needing to be told.
Choose a shelter nearest to you on
dry land. Advance evacuation preparation will be critical. If you have
time, try to prepare for looters. I have also
included lists to give you an idea of what to expect after a flood. What
can be saved & how. Plus what cant be saved. Also a link to
more detailed disaster planning & green alternatives. See below.
Primary items to Remember
if safe. Don't risk lives).
- Every member of your
family must escape first
- All your pets
must be rescued in
- Place All
medicines, med supplies, Dentures,
partials in Zip locks.
- Diabetics glucose
test kit, meds, insulin.
- Wheelchair, walker, cane, crutches,
oxygen, asthma meds
purses, checkbook, money, cards (med ins, DL, CC), keys,
- Cell phones
and charger cords, eyeglasses
- Laptop/Slate and
charger cord &
- Grab Photos
and negatives in plastic ziplock bags
- Take all Jewelry
in zip locks. Do not tell
- Important papers in zip locks.
(Deeds, certificates, licenses, permits, degrees, prenup, div)
- hearing aids,
- sharpie marker
write ID on pet carriers, bags, property
- Put pets in carriers
on leash with ID
Secondary Items to
pack if enough time to be safe
- Small weapon &
ammo, gun permit & knife.
- tooth brush, paste,
deodorant, soap, shampoo, hairbrush
- Babyfood, bottles,
formula, diapers, clothes, shoes
- Shaving needs,
clothes, socks, shoes, towels, coats in plastic
- snacks, water,
juice for family in plastic
- pet food, water
& bowls, can opener, litter, seeds
- Hand cleaner
- First aid kit
- Flashlight &
- Extra plastic bags
for trash & laundry.
- Extra ziplocks
If you have
extra time or advance notice to be safe before a flood:
all remaining valuables possible into attic in
- Guns, paintings,
cameras, anything that would be damaged by water & to protect
- place items in
plastic, in attic & hide under insulation
- Move electronics,
desk computers & other portable items as high in house or
attic as possible or to relatives out of area.
- Hide fur coats
& gowns, suits,
silks in giant ziplocks or vacuum, waterproof storage bags &
hide safe from water & looters.
- Move collectibles
& items prone to water damage or looters to safe
place (attic or at relatives out of flood zone) away from
- Leave large
furniture, beds & appliances. Hernias
are more expensive than new furniture.
Appliances & cars can often be repaired
- Portable Power
tools & expensive tools, hide in attic
- Move dry goods to
- Paperwork to highest location. Toys to highest
location. Pesticides & chemicals in garage to highest shelf
stated in giant ziplocks.
- Turn off main
breaker if flooding.
- Use DRY board to
gently shut down main breaker if standing in water instead of hand.
preparations for emergencies:
- Mark names &
phone on everything with Sharpie marker.
- Keep carriers &
cages in your garage for ALL of your pets with extra food, towels
- Walmart & pet
stores have standard Nylon carriers for cat sizes were $20-35.
- Cardboard carriers
will fall apart when wet
- Buy inflatable
rafts to fit your family, pets & belongings & store in
garage. Academy stores.
- Buy an inflatable
mattress or two & store in box in garage. Handy as
raft to tow supplies & as beds in shelter.
- Use foot or battery
pump to inflate.
- Extra Batteries,
rotate every6 months
- Have rope in garage
and basic tool kit.
- Keep your car gas
- Buy several boxes
large & giant zip lock bags.
- Use sharpie to mark
name & contact info on pet carriers & other property for
evacuation such as inflatable beds, rafts, paddles, camping gear,
plastic bags, computers, etc.
- Portable CB radios
& fresh batteries.
- Your phones will
not work in disaster zones. FEMA may scramble all radio
frequencies (except their own) & shut off all landline
& wireless phones in area. This is their authority under the
executive order mandates by the presidents.
- Leaving 911 access
only which will overload after 30k callers. I know this from working
with FEMA. They also did this during Katrina to keep bad info
isolated from press & public.
- Remember FEMA
pulled down antenna in St Bernard Parish emergency management to
prevent Communications about deaths & no supplies.
- Satellite phones
may work better for disaster zones but require clear skies. More
- All pets should
wear ID tags & microchips.
- Keep ax in attic
- Beware of fallen
electric lines (esp in flood)
- Beware trees
falling over in soft soil
- Beware of local
industry hazards from storm damage or power loss
- Beware wild
large reptiles, sharp debris, leaking
officials, looters, hypothermia, sewage, bacteria in flood water
and any busybody
out of your house if you are still safe there. Just say no.
- Save the car if
possible or leave before water rises.
- Keep hammer in car
to break window if submerged.
- Do not drive at
night or through water.
- Tetanus shots if
cut or injured.
- Every room in
house, garage should have a large fire extinguisher, fire
alarms & CO2 detectors.
- & large
extinguisher inside car behind driver's seat.
- Get out
before the water is too deep to drive.
- At least get your car to high
ground before it floods if you plan to stay.
(High Parking garage & ride taxi or friend home before storm).
Brakes may not work if wet.
- Water above
tailpipe will stall vehicle.
- Do not abandon your
family or pets unless fire and no other choice.
- Break house windows
to vent smoke to access trapped family & pets from outside if
safe to do so.
- Use Wet sheets, wet
blankets for protection, wet bandana for breathing.
- Have extinguishers
in every room and ladder stored outside for access.
- Rope ladders in
each room for 2nd floor escapes. No bars on windows.
- Have tools handy.
- Crawl low &
- If you pass out
from heat, smoke or no oxygen, you will die.
- Do not risk your
Do not stay in a
- Every room in
house, garage & inside car should have a large fire extinguisher
& alarm fire & CO2 detectors.
Detailed disaster kits
& planning info link for any catastrophe
AFTER a flood: Not
everything is lost
- Low cost Gov't
loans are available for disaster victims thru FEMA. It is
their only virtue. Loan application processing.
- Cars, mowers, dish
washer, washer & dryer, refrigerators can often be restored. I
have seen it done.
- Make sure your
current home owners insurance policy includes "like"
replacements. Otherwise, they will replace your $600 brass Hunter
wireless fans with a cheap $35 fan from Walmart.
- Make sure roofers
remove clear plastic on back of each tile or it will not stick down
& will flap up & break off in high winds. A roofers trick to
get return business.
- DVD's & VHS can
be rinsed with water & special cleaner. The DVD wet
Case paper removed & washed in bucket & DVD
polished dry with smooth Nylon cloth to prevent scratches. These
clothes are often found for polishing eye glasses. Such as
lenscrafters. Only the DVD Case paper insert would be lost. Perhaps
a new paper image could be printed later. A temporary cover
could be cut to fit the case meanwhile, If My collection were
involved, it would affect 6000 movies & series. At $7-20
each or $55-100+ per season, they are too valuable to discard. Blue
ray is far worse at $35+ each. I refuse to subsidize Disney's greed.
- The DVD players
would need to be replaced if flooded.
- Jewelry, clothes,
curtains & lamps can be cleaned
- There are specialty
cleaners for flooded items but over charge & crooked.
- Wall to wall
Carpets & pads must be discarded & replaced.
- Separate floor rugs
can be cleaned.
- flooring needs to
be replaced; underlayment bleached, demolded & dried. Then
replaced with solvent-free adhesive & new flooring. California
- Insurance should
pay for cleaning costs.
- Be sure to turn off
breakers before spraying or working around electrical devices.
- Sheetrock must be
removed & replaced below water level
- Use dilute bleach
in walls behind sheet rock & floor underlayment to kill mold
& mold spray to kill spores.
conditioner compressor can be cleaned with water hose outside
& sprayed with antimold inside the A frame but may need new
upper A frame unit inside. The air ducts should also be replaced and
vents & filters cleaned.
- paper window shades
replaced, blinds cleaned & compromised double pane windows &
- Fireplace cleaned.
- Kitchen cabinets
are mostly wood & need replacing. Anything wood in floodwater is
- Tools should be ok
after cleaning & coating with lubricant. Saltwater will
corrode or must & must be rinsed clean.
- All wood doors in
house which were wet need replacing.
- Replace wooden
knife blocks & cutting boards in kitchen.
- Discard any boxes
of damaged products in water.
- Use diluted bleach
to clean every surface in house contaminated by floodwater or
- New furniture.
Solid oak may be cleanable depending how long it was wet.
Masonite drawers bottoms may need replacing. May need extensive
repairs or replacement of solid oak furniture. A clear
polyurethane coat may help restore solid oak, mahogany or Cherry
wood after cleaning. Do not use bleach. Detergent is better for
- You are battling
ecoli bacteria, parasites, insects, mold spores & water damage
throughout the house.
- Wear filter masks
when cleaning & working or observing restoration. It would
almost be easier to tear it down & start from scratch.
- Pillows, quilts
& comforters replaced. The filler cannot be cleaned. A
special hand made case could be emptied, cleaned & refilled.
- If the flood was
above the 1st floor in a 2 story home, the mold & bacteria is
between levels & you are breathing it. Extensive costs. They
will try to cut corners & leave ceiling without replacing where
a deadly stachybotrus could be hiding. Most insurers wont cover mold
removal. Special mold traps could reveal mold. Also bacteria
- Everything in the
kitchen must also be disinfected. Every utensil, pot, pans, walls,
- Stuffed toys
discarded & children rooms sanitized.
- Pools drained &
sanitized. Windows cleaned.
- Maybe repair &
rent out old house while building or buying a second new home free
of mold & bacteria.
- Perhaps group
cleaning parties like barn raising would help ease the task as a
group of 6 neighbor families tackled each home in groups, one room
at a time.
Vehicles. After the
- Cars are also
restorable but need new Carpet, new seats, new trunk liner, new roof
fabric, air conditioning disinfected & demolded. Ducts replaced.
New radio, filters, oil, gas, seatbelts, fluids replaced, dashboard,
interior liners & covers removed & disinfected. engine
overhauled. Brakes cleaned. Trunk cleaned. Battery & headlights
replaced. All lights replaced. Quite, a task & who knows how
many electronic circuits are bad.