What To Do if You’re Forced To Evacuate

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Natural disasters and extreme weather pose a significant threat. No one is invulnerable to such events, and even if the idea of evacuating your home seems unlikely, preparing for evacuation can ensure calmer heads prevail in the case of adverse situations like natural disasters.

Ready.gov is a public service campaign that was established in February 2003 to help people prepare for, respond to and mitigate various types of emergencies, including natural disasters. The campaign notes that many types of emergencies can necessitate evacuation, and offers the following tips to individuals who have been told evacuation is their best option.

Download the FEMA App

The FEMA app is an invaluable resource for individuals facing evacuation. The app, which is available for download through the Google Play store as well as the Apple App Store, provides a host of important information, including a list of open shelters for individuals living in areas where officials are urging residents to evacuate.

Follow Local Evacuation Instructions

Everyone has seen images of individuals stranded in areas that have been overtaken by flooding or destroyed by storms like hurricanes and tornados. Staying in place when evacuation orders have been issued puts your own life at risk as well as the lives of those who may attempt to help you, such as public safety officials. Many local public safety organizations will not send workers to help stranded citizens if the conditions pose a threat to the workers, which underscores how important it is that individuals evacuate when orders are issued. evacuation plan to family members in other regions but also those who live locally so they can follow suit if need be.

It is also recommended that you have an out-ofstate contact that has all of your family phone numbers. If you are separated, each family member can call the out-of-state contact who will keep everyone updated.

Few people want to imagine evacuating their homes. Such a scenario can be frightening, but it’s considerably less daunting when individuals know what to do and where to go during the evacuation. (MC) 

Secure Your Home

Prior to evacuating, secure your home by locking doors and windows and unplugging electrical equipment like radios, televisions and small appliances. Pay attention to evacuation order details, which may advise residents to shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving their homes.

Stay in Touch

Do your best to stay in touch with friends and family once you have evacuated your home. Let others know where you are going and inform them once you have arrived at your destination. In the days prior to evacuating, forward a copy of your

The Average Shelf Life of Various Nonperishable Foods

Many nonperishable foods can be stored for quite a while. But even the most resilient items should be used or replaced after a certain period of time. FEMA suggests the following timeline for emergency preparedness food stores.

Use within six months:

• Powdered milk (boxed) • Dried fruit • Dry, crisp crackers • Potatoes

Use within one year, or before the date indicated on the label:

• Canned condensed meat and vegetable soups • Canned fruits, fruit juices and vegetables • Ready-to-eat cereals and uncooked instant cereals • Peanut butter • Jelly • Hard candy and canned nuts

• Vitamins

May be stored indefinitely under proper conditions:

• Wheat • Vegetable oils • Dried corn • Baking powder • Instant coffee, tea and cocoa • Salt • Noncarbonated soft drinks • White rice • Dry pasta • Powdered milk (nitrogen-packed cans) (MC)

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