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What you'll need if a wildfire evacuates your family

american red cross fire evacuation center shelter
and last updated 2022-05-12 16:46:11-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- It's easy to forget what to pack in the chaos of a wildfire evacuation. That's why preparedness is so crucial in making sure you and your family have everything you need if you're forced to evacuate.

Fire agencies always recommend every person in a household keep an emergency supply kit ready to go. This can be kept in the car or somewhere easy to access.

Cal Fire recommends always keeping a pair of sturdy shoes and a flashlight near bedsides in the case of a sudden evacuation.

Emergency kits should include:

  • A three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription or special medications
  • A map marked with at least two evacuation routes
  • Change of clothing
  • (If applicable) Extra eyeglasses or contact lens
  • An extra set of keys, credit cards, cash or traveler's checks
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Copies of important documents, including birth certificates, passports, etc.)
  • (If applicable) Pet food and water

Also, don't forget any pets inside the household.

When leaving, wear clothing that will help protect against any embers or heat. Cal Fire suggests wearing long pants, long sleeve shirts, heavy shoes or boots, hats, something for face cover, and goggles or glasses.

If time allows, Cal Fire says easily carried valuables can be considered next, as well as family photos or irreplaceable items, personal computers or hard drives, and chargers for electronics.

Kits should be kept fairly light and easy to lift into a car quickly. Families should be "ready, set, go," if disaster strikes, Cal Fire says.

Homeowners should never put themselves or their family's lives at risk to save items that can easily be replaceable.

It's also important to talk with children, and senior or disabled family members about evacuation protocols. Cal Fire has a handy list of what to discuss and review before a fire strikes.

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