Make your plans in a sober time before the emotions of the event are in play. Those moments could be filled with second guessing, rationalization and hesitation. For example, you might decide now that if you’re “in the cone” 72hrs out, you’ll pack your bags and organize valuables appropriately. 48hrs out, if still in the projected path, you’ll make plans to Evac and start securing the home’s exterior. 24hrs out, if you’re still threatened, you’ll leave. Maybe set your action triggers even further out. Maybe add in a timeline for obtaining supplies in case you don’t (or can’t leave) and have to survive at home for a few days. Throw in a marker for double checking battery supplies, refilling prescriptions, testing emergency equipment operation and/or making contact with others in your area to confirm THEY are taking care of themselves as well.
Like any emergency plan, it is useless if you don’t execute it. The “benchmark for action” idea was one I first learned about in the aftermath of Katrina. It is advice given to those who live in areas threatened with flooding: Use rising water levels to trigger your actions, don’t think about what to do in the heat of the moment. Set your plan ahead of time based on rational thought and logic. Emotion based decision making, combined with a lack of forethought, is how people end of up on the roof of their houses getting rescued by a helicopter while all their neighbors are hundreds of miles away in hotels or their extended family’s homes. The value of this simple tip was one that I referenced in several segments of The Best Defense: Survival during our two season on the air.
Watching the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey play out this last few days in Texas while friends and family members keep a close eye on Hurricane Irma as it heads towards Florida today has a lot of people talking about Disaster Preparation. Even if you aren’t in the Southeastern US, take some time to think about what Benchmarks you can set to trigger your own preparation or evacuation actions in the event of a potential disaster that might come with some warning where you live.
Hurricane Preparation Resources:
Homeowner Preparation Tips
Comprehensive List of Tips from American National Insurance
If you find a good resource, please add a link in the comments!