Should I Stay or Should I Go?
This is likely the most important decision you will make in a disaster. The life of your family and animals will depend on this decision. Trusting your emergency professionals when they say to evacuate is an important step. There may have been false alarms in the past but when you are dealing with deadly disasters like as a mudslide or blizzard, you should be willing to do anything to keep safe.
If you delay a decision to evacuate you still need to have everything ready as if you were planning to leave. This becomes more important if you have farm animals, livestock, pets and immobile people to care for. Every step not taken prior to the event starting is one more thing you have to do when under great stress. Bad things always happen faster than expected during a disaster. You need to plan for a lack of time available to evacuate. If you think loading an immobile family member will take ten minutes, double it. If connecting the horse trailer will take 10 minutes, double it. Do as many little things as you can in preparation of evacuating and hope you don’t need to. You definitely want to have the car packed with everyone’s GO Bag so you can jump in and drive off as quickly as possible.
Source: Pasco County, FL Disaster Planning Guide. www.tampabayprepares.org
Download planning guide here.
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