Getting Ready to Go If a powerful storm, wildfire, or flood is coming your way, there may not be much time to flee. To help your family leave safely with the things you need most —and to stage a quick recovery if your own home suffers damage— it’s best to do some research and preparation in advance. Make travel arrangements. Knowwhere you will go if youmust evacuate, and have a backup option in place. Will you stay with friends or family in another town, or head to a hotel or a community shelter? Keep addresses and phone numbers in a readily accessible place such as a wallet or a mobile phone. Map out a route to your destination, as well as an alternate route to take if roads are blocked or impassable. Identify a safe place to meet and choose a family member who lives in another area to serve as a point of contact in case family members become separated. Write down a list of items to take with you. In your haste, youmight forget things you really need. Remember to add medical supplies and prescriptionmedications; bottled water; clothing and bedding for each household member; one or more flashlights with extra batteries; an emergency battery-operated radio with extra batteries; your computer hard drive or laptop; eyeglasses; photos; and special food or other items for children, disabled or elderly family members, and pets. • Insurance policies and contact numbers • Identification such as drivers’ licenses, passports, birth and marriage certificates, and Social Security cards • Employment information, contracts, wills, deeds, and recent tax returns • Banking and financial account information and account numbers • Evacuation plan information, maps, and your list of items to pack • An inventory of your household possessions • Phone numbers of relatives, neighbors, friends, co-workers, schools Keep your documents together. Some documents may be difficult or impossible to replace, and youmay need them to get your life back to normal. Either take themwith you when evacuating or keep them in a safe location away from your home.