Outdoor FunSevere Weather Tips

What Would YOU Pack For Evacuation?

You can learn a lot about a person by what they pack during an evacuation!

With all that’s going on hurricane-wise lately… first Charley (which hit hardest just south of Tampa, Florida), then Frances, most recently Ivan (which destroyed the city we used to live in – Pensacola, Florida), and up-and-coming Jeanne (who knows where that one’s headed!), I’ve done a lot of reflecting lately about my time spent in Florida and a couple close calls with hurricanes while I was living there.

In March of 1998, the part of Orlando that I lived in was just a few miles from a wildfire that was burning out of control. (To this day, there’s still evidence of the widespread fire damage — all the way from Cocoa Beach to Orlando.)

For days, it was touch and go whether we’d have to evacuate or not.

Since my little apartment in Orlando was a bit too close for comfort, here’s what I packed for the impending evacuation:

  • Swimsuit (I waited 5 years to find one I liked… figured I’d never find one that fit me like this one again!)
  • Camping gear — to have a place to stay
  • Favorite biking shorts, tops, and jerseys (bicycling is my hobby, my exercise, my life right now)
  • Biking shoes — cost $200 and everyone wants a pair like these, but they don’t make them like this anymore
  • “Simplify Your Life” book — because I might have no choice
  • Favorite work clothes — Tom (my boss) would’ve been proud, I packed all of my UCF polo shirts!
  • A year’s supply of underwear
  • Black heels, navy heels, black flats, navy flats (for work)
  • My cameras (I’d be lost without them. I often say that my only memories are those I’ve saved in photographs.)
  • Old high school and college yearbooks (one of my few ties to the past)
  • All my photo albums (9) and negatives (many boxes!)
  • Scrapbooks (8) and all craft supplies (a couple huge plastic tubs)
  • Favorite clothes in 2 suitcases
  • Dog food and Jersey’s favorite toys, brush, and nail trimmer
  • Computer files & documents I’ve saved on disk
  • My favorite framed pictures
  • Old love letters
  • Corded phone (I’m too practical for my own good!)
  • Flashlights
  • Universal remote and instructions (…we’ve all got our priorities)
  • Insurance papers
  • Receipts for everything I’ve saved for years
  • All credit card statements with account numbers and balances
  • Credit cards to buy new stuff
  • Toiletries
  • Van Morrison CD’s
  • 5 of my favorite videotaped movies

UPDATE: It’s funny to read this list so many years later…

(I’ve always been one to make and keep lists – for everything!)

Looking back, I was lucky that I had an SUV, and it was just me and the dog!

What The Experts Say You Should Pack