You have 15 minutes to evacuate!
I was inspired to conduct an emergency evacuation drill by a friend who received a phone call the other night that stated her household had 10 minutes to evacuate. I had not had a drill of the sorts for longer than I care to admit (I know, I know, procrastinators unite-tomorrow!) so I thought it was about time to kick everyone into gear and see what they remembered.
I sprung it on my family that afternoon. You really learn your strengths and weaknesses, and those of each family member, when you have one of these emergency evacuations. It went off pretty smoothly, actually. I told everyone what to do, and they did it in the allotted time- in this case it was 15 minutes. The biggest snafus were my oldest son who was in charge of the animals spent way too much time searching for a misplaced leash, and he forgot to load the pet food into the truck. And my youngest began to panic a bit, till I pulled him aside and told him this was just a drill, and panic is the number one enemy. He got into the zone after that!
I realized I do way too much when I caught two boys outside playing basketball while I was still grabbing and loading! “But we’re all done with what you told us.” Was their reply. At least they are efficient!
But we did have a great advantage as the BOB’s are always loaded and ready.
After the drill we unloaded the BOBs and personal backpacks. It was interesting to see that the younger kids had packed books and a favorite toy for something to do. I then wrote a list of duties that must be performed in case of a bug out situation, and who is in charge of each task, then gave the oldest son a bit less than the others, so he could help other family members when his job was complete. That’s also good if there’s a family member at work or at the park- he can pick up the slack for the missing person.
I think it’s important to hold periodic drills. You get a sense of what you need to do and what you forgot. You can then pack accordingly, and modify as needed. Another good tip I found was to make a list of what is needed from each room, and either keep that with your preps or posted to the fridge.
What lessons have you learned from emergency drills? Share your tips and humorous stories below.