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Grab and Go Emergency Actions in Catastrophy

Updated on October 4, 2015

They are the six P's:

  • People and pets - make sure loved ones know where to meet when a natural disaster occurs
  • Paper- make sure you have key phone numbers and paper files in a place you can reach and take in a flash
  • Prescriptions - secure all your prescriptions, glasses, vitamins. Keep them together so they are not scattered
  • Pictures - Grab the photo albums and video files that are irreplaceable
  • Plastic - grab the important credit and debit cards. You may need them in a disaster and if you do not, it is like losing your wallet with them in it
  • Personal - Grab laptops, computers, portable hard drives, flash drives and anything that stores personal information

In disaster settings, there is little warning, and when it happens you may have only minutes to grab any of the Six P's noted above. Survivors of these situations suggest that everyone create a "Grab and Go" container or file with many of the items listed above. Important papers are birth and marriage certificates, insurance docs, real estate docs, passports, car titles, have an external hard drive with all the photos, videos and other docs that can be taken with you OR upload them to a cloud server. Forget about the usual material things that can be replaced but keep valuable jewelry and other personal items dear to you in once place if you have to grab and go. Keep family related mementos like family history or audio recordings that cannot be saved to a hard drive in the same place or container. If they are scattered, during the panic of a disaster, there will be no time to think clearly! Another thing to grab and go are a change of clothes, shoes etc., because you will need them and during this time the least thing you want to do is to shop!

Pre-plan for the disaster most common in your area. It is hard to do this because one tends to think it will never happen on a serious scale, then, it happens and your brain is scatters with panic and evacuation, and you forget what is important. Some disasters do have warnings like hurricanes, typhoons, wildfire. If you have time, grab and go when you know your home is doomed. Other disasters like earthquakes, tidal waves, avalanches, provide no warning and you must act during or immediately afterwards. If you have already planned, you will be able to take the items most important to you.

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