How To: Pack an Evacuation Box

Friday, May 8, 2009

So, seeing as how my house is now being threatened by the Jesusita Fire going on here in Santa Barbara, I thought it would be a good idea to look up how to make and emergency evacuation box in case I need to leave!

This "grab-and-go" box can be a plastic tub, a file box, a backpack or any other durable container you would like- although she says a fireproof and waterproof box or a waterproof backpack are recommended.

Among the items you’ll probably want to include are:
–Cash or traveler’s checks to cover several days’ living expenses, since power outages can make ATMs and debit cards useless.
–Rolls of quarters for vending machines, pay phones, coin laundries and other needs.
–Emergency phone numbers, including those to doctors, pharmacies, financial advisers, clergy, repair contractors and family members.

–Copies of prescriptions for medicines and eyeglasses, and copies of medical, dental and prescription insurance cards.
–Copies of auto, flood, renter’s and/or homeowner’s insurance policies.
–Copies of other important papers such as deeds, titles, wills, trust documents, health care directives, stock and bond certificates, recent investment statements, home inventory, birth certificates, death certificates, adoption certificates, marriage certificates, passports and/or other identity documents, employee benefit documents and federal and state tax returns.
–Backup copies of computerized financial records.

–Negatives or digital copies of irreplaceable personal photos.
–Computer user names and passwords.
–Lists of Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, driver’s license numbers, loan numbers, investment account numbers and any other important numbers.
–List of debt obligations, due dates of payments and contact information for companies.

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Other important things to remember are extra clothing, food and water. Make sure to go to the store and grab water right when the evacuation notices come out, because people tend to rush the store last minute in times like these. Also, make sure your car has plenty of gas because it will be nearly impossible to get to a pump when everyone is trying to evacuate at the same time. Extra batteries are also useful as well.

If you have room/time, make sure to pack irreplaceables that have sentimental value! I would hate losing journals, scrapbooks, and paintings that I've done. But of course you have to pack all the most important things for survival first.


  1. This list is so much more helpful than the one I received when I studied abroad in London at the start of the Iraq War. My list recommended that I pack salami, hunks of cheese, a gallon of water and all of my school books and assignments. Oh, and I was supposed to have these things on me at all times. Not plausible!

  2. yeah that list they gave you seems a tad rediculous...i'm glad this one can help for future reference! :)



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