The Five P’s of Hurricane Evacuation

Category - General
by Lisa Eifert on August 1st, 2016

Every second counts when a hurricane is headed your way. Have you given any thought to what supplies you’ll need in the case of an emergency evacuation? Taking time before disaster is imminent to identify these essentials and pack a “Go Bag,” can mean the difference between remorse and recovery. The U.S. Department of Defense’s “How to Prepare for a Hurricane,” delineates the “Five Ps of Evacuation” to help prepare for hurricanes and other natural disasters. Let’s take a closer look.

1. People
Your loved ones are your most precious belongings. The paramount “P” is, of course, people. Ensuring their safety isn’t just a matter of knowing where they are in an emergency, but also in helping them understand what to do. After all, you may not be together when disaster strikes. Will you know how to reach each other?  A Family Communication Plan can help you safely reunite following a hurricane or other catastrophic event. Pets, other animals and livestock also fall under this “P.”

2. Prescriptions
In the event of an emergency evacuation, you may not be able to quickly reach your doctor or pharmacy. Maintain a file containing all of your prescriptions and doses. Other evacuation necessities include medicine and medical equipment, vision and hearing aids, and batteries and power cords.

3. Papers
In the aftermath of the storm, you may need access to personal information ranging from insurance policies to warranties. FEMA’s Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) provides a handy breakdown of important documents, including everything from financial information to family contacts.

However, because paperwork is vulnerable to both fire and water, it’s vital to store critical documents — along with a backup drive for all electronic records — in a waterproof, fireproof box. Cloud storage also offers immediate, secure access in the event of an emergency.

4. Personal Needs
Society may be growing increasingly sophisticated, but we still have basic survival needs. Don’t assume that day-to-day conveniences like water, food, clothing, cash, first aid kits, phones, and chargers will be readily available in the event of an emergency evacuation. FEMA recommends storing at least three days’ worth of basic survival supplies in your home.

Additionally, if you have loved ones with disabilities, mobility restrictions, or other functional limitations, make sure their immediate needs are also covered.

5. Priceless Items
While a cherished family picture may not be critical to your survival, our connections with these things is part of what makes us human. Identity any priceless items — from photos to irreplaceable mementos and other valuables — and include them in your evacuation plan.

We’ve all heard the expression, “Hope for the best, expect the worst.” Understanding and incorporating the “Five Ps of Evacuation,” into your disaster readiness plan can ensure that you and your family are prepared should the unthinkable occur. Need a bit more guidance? Check our FEMA’s Emergency Supply List checklist  for specific details regarding protective measures for hurricanes and other natural disasters.


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