You may not be able to prevent hurricanes and storms that interrupt your routine or destroy your home, but you can make plans to keep them from disrupting everything, according to retired LSU AgCenter family economist Jeanette Tucker.
The LSU AgCenter expert says an "evacuation box" that’s ready to "grab and go" is one item every household should have to prevent financial disasters and other hardships.
"Last year’s hurricanes emphasized the importance of emergency preparedness and stressed that everyone should have individual and family evacuation plans in place," Tucker said. "Although every family’s emergency plans may be a little different, there are a lot of common elements – and some sort of evacuation ‘to go’ box should be one of those elements."
Tucker says the box or backpack, if you’d like, should contain items you may need in an emergency – such as copies of important papers, emergency cash or checks, lists of emergency phone numbers, safe deposit box keys and backups of computer records. It should be packed and ready to "grab and go" in case you need to evacuate, she says.
"Keep the box somewhere in your home where you can get to it easily," Tucker says, adding, "Then if you must evacuate, keep the box with you at all times."
Among the items you’ll probably want to include are:
Tucker says it’s also a good idea to place papers in sealed, waterproof plastic bags. You can use any durable sealed container to hold your items, although she says a portable, fireproof and waterproof box or a waterproof backpack are recommended.
"Some planning and a few relatively simple preparations can prevent the unexpected from becoming even more disastrous," Tucker says.