Family Evacuation Kit Essentials

Whether it's a fire in Boston, power outage in LA, or terrorist alert in D.C., families -- and especially urban ones -- have, sadly, more and more reasons to want to plan for a fast exit. We've come up with the least-common-denominator evacuation essentials.
LL Bean Cyan and Purple Extended Backpack

Our recommendation: Pack a backpack or two and keep them stashed under your bed so you can pull them out quickly when you need them. It won't get you through a week, but it should get you through a day or so until you can make other accommodations. Remember, if it's a fire, you want to get out quickly with just the important stuff that you can't "live" without.

If you have one backpack:

___ Cell phone with extra emergency power

___ Portable radio, battery or hand-cranked

___ Bottled water/long-lasting snacks

___ Cash, credit card

___ First-aid kit, prescription medicine

___ Matches

___ Particle mask for everyone

___ Multi-tool knife

___ Map of your city with exits marked

___ Personal hygiene basics: soap, toilet paper, etc.

___ Extra eyeglasses

___ Infant/toddler needs if appropriate (diapers/wipes, formula, bottles)

___ Pet needs if appropriate

___ Copy of picture ID (passport, driver's license) for all adults, birth certificates for children

__ Water purification tablets like Halazone or Globaline (check camping supply stores)

If you have two, add:

___ Sweatshirts, extra underwear for everyone

___ Ground cloth

___ Rain ponchos for all

___ More food (shelf-stable, low-salt items, snack bars, trail mix, snack-size canned foods)

___ More water (but if you're on foot, the recommended gallon/day/person of water may not be realistic)

Excerpted from The City Parent Handbook: The Complete Guide to the Ups and Downs and Ins and Outs of Raising Young Kids in the City (Rodale, 2004) by Kathy Bishop and Julia Whitehead. Both women live, and parent, in New York City.

 

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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