On pre-evacuation notice? Here’s what to pack
Community members should all have a personalized emergency kit filled with essentials that will last at least 72 hours, including water, nonperishable food, sanitation supplies, clothes, a flashlight, extra batteries, medications and prescriptions, phone chargers and other personal items like eye glasses.
Amanda Seidler — public information officer with Red, White & Blue — said in May that residents should also pack important documents, a hard copy of vital contact information, extra cash and a credit card, and quarters for laundry. Additionally, it’s a good idea to pack reminders in your bag, such as prompts to change your voicemail to let loved ones know you’re safe. Community members should also consider packing some luxury items like a book or deck of cards.
Schelly Olson — assistant chief with the Grand Fire Protection District, who was one of hundreds of Grand County residents who lost their homes in the East Troublesome Fire last year — said one of her biggest regrets was losing her kids’ childhood art and projects, and she recommended taking some time to scan sentimental items into digital form so they can be recovered from the cloud after a fire.
“Our goal is that you make a kit that works for you,” Seidler said. “For me, I’ve found that you want to focus on the six P’s: people, papers, prescriptions, pictures, personal computer, plastic money.”
Residents should also pack emergency kits for their pets, complete with extra food and water, vaccination records and a recent selfie of themselves with the animal. Officials recommended creating a plan with neighbors so that if a resident isn’t around during the evacuation, there is someone else available to take the pet or the kit.
Those with special needs should make sure their evacuation plans account for accessibility items they might require, such as a patch kit for a wheelchair or a spare walker in the car.
Community members, especially those with special needs and pets, should also consider signing up with the Community Connect portal for their fire protection district, which will provide first responders with information they need to help individuals and animals evacuate.
During wildfire season, residents should also always keep at least a half tank of gas in their cars to avoid pump lines.
Editor’s note: This story previously published May 24.
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