Preparing for an emergency bushfire, flood or storm

Sadly tonight i learnt that my mothers suburb in Queensland Australia has been declared an emergency area, 92 fire trucks on site with 9 en route. 10 homes lost and this is all within a few hours. The roads out have been cut off and emergency evacuation centers have been set up at the surf club and other areas. Thankfully it is moving away from my mother and her husband but many others arent as lucky.

What to pack in an emergency 72hr bag

When you need to leave in a hurry the last thing you want is to be rushing around trying to think what you need to bring. Especially if you have children this can be a daunting and fruitless task which delays your getting to safety. The red cross recommends having a 72hr bag packed for each member of the family as well as a 3 day supply of food and water in your home. This isnt much. I have at least a week on hand for water and maybe a month of food. Why? Bush fires, floods and bad weather can cut off supplies, power and make water undrinkable. We need to wash and cook our food and cant do this without water. Many shops will close including petrol stations without power to operate the pumps or efptos machines.  However at least you should have 72hr packs ready to go. Mine are kept in my car as i work full time i will most likley be away from my home when i need them.

I have two bags. One for both of us and one just for my son. This means that if we are seporated he has clothes, food and comfort items. And it also gives im a sense of security and purpose to carry his own bag. Make sure you check these regularly! I do mine every 6months but doing it tonight i realised my sons clothes were at least 2 sizes too small for him and the food i packed was out of date and not edible.

What to pack:

  • 2 sets of clothes for each person
  • toiletries, soap, deoderant etc
  • Wet wipes for quick water free clean up
  • cutlery
  • lighter and other tools (you might have to get through a fence to get to safety)
  • tampons, toilet paper and gloves
  • Painkillers for all ages
  • scissors
  • first aid kit (mine is in the car)
  • Socks and covered shoes (you may have to walk if the car cant get through)
  • i pack a small towel for my son this can be used for showering, as a blanket or pillow. 
  • Food that doesn't require cooking
  • essential medications eg inhaler
  • dust masks (for smoke)
  • torch and spare batteries
  • Toys or amusements. Dont forget if you are in an evacuation center there will be no tv and often phone signals go down also
  • phone charger and power bank
  • water! For washing and drinking
  • nappies. Even though my son isnt in nappies if we have to drive a long way to stay with relitaves or sleep in the car etc it can be handy to whip these out. 
  • plastic bag. Great for putting wet or soiled clothes into. 
Not pictured:
  • phone charger
  • powerbank
  • first aid kit
  • shoes
  • Cash (if the power is out some shops may offer items for cash only)

Make sure if there is a warning in your area that your car is also full of fuel incase you have to drive a long way to get out.

For more information:
Red cross preparing for emergencies
Surviving a bushfire
Storm wise SES
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