Here in Texas the weather is often unpredictable.

How prepared are you if a weather disaster strikes? Planning is key to surviving any disaster. It is critical that everyone has an evacuation plan as well as an evacuation “to-go” box ready for emergencies. Here are three easy steps to follow in creating a “grab and go” box:

Step 1

  • Place papers in sealed, waterproof plastic bags.
  • Store in a durable, sealed box. (A portable, fireproof and waterproof box or waterproof backpack is recommended.)

Step 2

  • Store box/backpack at home in a secure, easily accessible location.

Step 3

If you must evacuate:

  • Grab box and take with you.
  • Keep the box with you at all times.
  • Do not leave box unattended in your car.

The box should include:

  • Cash or traveler’s checks for living expenses.
  • Rolls of quarters.
  • Emergency numbers:
  • Doctors, pharmacies.
  • Financial advisors.
  • Clergy.
  • Repair contractors.
  • Family.
  • Copies of important prescriptions:
  • Medicines.
  • Eyeglasses.
  • Copies of children’s immunization records.
  • Copies of health, dental, and/or prescription insurance cards or numbers.
  • Copies of auto, flood, renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policies (at least policy numbers).
  • Insurance company telephone numbers.

Copies of:

  • Deeds, Titles, Wills and/or trust documents.
  • Health-care directives.
  • Stock and bond certificates.
  • Recent investment statements
  • Home inventory.
  • Birth, death, adoption, and marriage certificates.
  • Passports and other identity documents.
  • Employee-benefit documents.
  • First two pages of previous year’s federal and state income tax returns.
  • Back-up copies of computerized financial records.
  • Keys to safe deposit box.
  • Combination to safe.
  • Negatives for irreplaceable personal photos.
  • Computer user names and passwords.
  • List of numbers:
  • Social Security
  • Credit card
  • Bank account
  • Driver’s license
  • Loan
  • Investment account
  • List of debt obligations, due dates, and contact information.

Dr. Jeanette Tucker with the LSU Ag Center stated, “Planning and preparation can prevent the unexpected from becoming a harsh reality. Taking the time prior to the emergency to prepare and organize important papers and documents will save you from unwanted stress and chaos in the case of a disaster.”

For more information on this topic contact the Harrison County Extension Office at 903.935.8414.