When a disaster strikes your home, you may be forced to evacuate within seconds or minutes. You have very little time to grab anything as you're running for the door. Evacuation is even worse when you're sleeping and have nothing but your sleep clothes to escape with.
Keeping a Home Escape Bag near your bed will allow you to grab it in the event of fire or other disaster where you need to evacuate quickly. It will provide for some basic things you will need immediately after, especially if your house burns down. Everyone should have one of these under their bed, including the kids!
Some things to consider keeping in your Home Escape Kit include:
• clothes or sweats
• shoes or sandals (an old pair is fine)
• flashlight and chemlights
• copies of important documents (update as needed):
⁃ insurance (health, auto, home, etc.)
⁃ copies of your SSN cards
⁃ copy of your bank accounts, credit and debit cards
⁃ marriage licenses
⁃ birth and death certificates
⁃ court papers
⁃ copies of recent pay stubs
⁃ copies of cell and utility bills (you'll need to either pay these or stop service)
⁃ titles and leases
⁃ vehicle registrations
⁃ school records
⁃ medical records, shot records
⁃ family pictures
• digital copies of the above on either a flash drive kept in the bag, or on a cloud service (like Dropbox)
• money (may need to spend night in hotel)
• spare keys (house, car, storage lockers, office, fire safes etc.)
• contacts list (paper copy)
• needed medications
• toiletry bag (don't need everything, just the essentials)
• spare checkbook
• Spare eyeglasses
• anything else that you would be hard-pressed to be without.
If you don't have a duplicate already in your bag, you should also get in the habit of leaving your wallet, cellphone and car keys on your nightstand, so you can quickly grab them.
If you have a baby in the home, make sure you plan an escape bag for the little one, too. You'll have to update it every 3 months to rotate food and update sizes on clothes and diapers.
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