Things I will do if we have to evacuate that I DIDN'T do last year.....
Take the juicepops and ice cream out of the freezer! And anything else that will melt and make a horrendous mess in the fridge or freezer that looses power.
After watching all of the coverage of Katrina, it makes me realize how very lucky we were last year to only have to deal with being displaced, loosing power for a few weeks, and having minor home damage. At least we still had a home to come home to.
My kids and I evacuated twice last year (Frances and Jeanne) and we learned a little with both. First, I learned that you sometimes have to drive very far away from a hurricane to not feel at least some of the devastation. The center of both storms made landfall not too far from our house so we figured we would be fairly safe evacuating to my mom's place on the other side of the state. We were correct in the "safe" part, but my mom's town and the surrounding towns were still without power for many days or weeks and also did have some flooding.
Next time, I will probably evacuate us as far away from the path as possible. While we were evacuated, once the storm hit, it was impossible to buy anything for many, many days. We had brought about a weeks worth of clothes/water/food/diapers and ran out of many things before the stores were open. We luckily had enough diapers but the food thing was a bit annoying. The grocery stores did not have power and even when it did come back on, they had nothing fresh available so we ate alot of canned fruit and tuna cracker ready made packs. Luckily, my kiddos were still nursing so I didn't have to worry as much about them. But I did worry about my mother. MRE's are not so vegetarian! IT's hard to be picky during a disaster but my mom has her principles. We were so excited when the grocery stores got their first shipment of fruit in! We were rationing water out towards the end but finally got the all clear that the tap water was at least ok to drink. We also had all of the food and water in the car with us while we were evacuating in case we hit the massive evacuation traffic. Luckily, we left a good 8 hours before everyone else decided to so we got to my mom's and saw the pictures on the news of the people sitting in bumper to bumper traffic.
I do have very important items that I evacuate with us. IF a tsunami was coming right at us and I had to run us out of the house in the blink of an I? Of course I would leave all of the "important items" behind. But evacuating, at least in our case, gave me time to pack up things and choose what was important. And actually, for the second hurricane last year, we hadn't even unpacked from the first
Some documents and pictures just cannot be replaced. I am working on scaning everything and making copies on cd to give to family that doesn't live in hurricane zones. That way, if we loose the originals we at least have copies on cd in safe places.
ooohhhhh.....CASH! We chose to take out cash before both hurricanes and were very thankful that we did since power was out for many weeks in the various places we were.
My husband was in charge of gathering our important financial documents last year while evacuating and I was in charge of everything else. He still makes fun of me, telling people that he was frantic and not sure if he had found all of the documents that we needed but "Don't worry, Judy got all of her organic produce out ok." I say HAY! Organic is expensive and if I have to eat 4 bags of kale and a box full of fruits and veggies on my way to wherever I am evacuating, I will do it rather than loose it to the power going out!