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Evacuation Checklist: What to bring when you’re evacuated to a hurricane shelter
As if a hurricane or natural disaster wasn’t scary enough, the idea of evacuating to a nearby shelter can cause a lot of angst and worry. If weather warnings are predicting that residents in your area may be evacuated, it’s best to be packed and ready to go. While you should always check with your local shelter about recommended items, here are few helpful suggestions on items you will want to make sure you have packed up.


Clean linens and pillows - While many shelters provide cots for sleeping, there is often not enough bedding materials to go around. We recommend bringing a camping pillow for a compact yet comfortable solution.
Food and Water - As far as water goes the rule of thumb is one gallon per person per day you plan on being at the shelter. This should provide enough water for both drinking as well as meet personal hygiene needs. Food items brought should be non-perishable and require little to no cooking. Think along the lines of peanut butter, ready-to-eat meats, canned fruit, granola bars or trail mix. Note: Plastic utensils and paper plates for eating should also be packed.
Personal Items - There are several personal hygiene items you will want to make sure you bring. A wash cloth, small towel, bar of soap and toothbrush should be packed for each person. Also remember to pack toothpaste, feminine care items, paper towels, toilet paper and moist towelettes for everyone. If you have a baby in tote, don’t forget diapers, clothes, formula, and baby powder.
Your Portable Security Safe - Let’s face it you are about to be crammed into a room with a lot of people. Some of them maybe your neighbors, but a lot of them you don’t know. A portable security safe is lightweight and small enough to fit in your backpack. Use it to hold personal identification cards, credit cards, extra cash, keys to your home and car, and other personal items you don’t want seen by prying eyes.
Medications & first-aid supplies - While there are likely to be doctors and Red Cross volunteers at the shelter, their attention is likely going to drawn first to those in emergency situations. Make sure you bring any medication you or a family member may need. Also bring a waterproof First-Aid Kit so you can take care of cuts, scrapes and other minor injuries that may occur.
Miscellaneous - You and your children are going to be sitting around the shelter for quite some time. Make sure you pack travel games, batteries, playing cards, and other small items to keep them and yourself occupied during that time.
For more information about what to bring, contact your local Red Cross. http://www.redcross.org/
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