May 14, 2014 12:41 AM by Maddie Garrett
In case of an emergency, like a flood or a fire, do you know what you would and what you would bring in an evacuation? If you don't, you're not alone. News 5 followed along as one Colorado Springs family gets prepared. And we've got what you need to know to get prepared too.
"I think before we started thinking about it we were totally unprepared we would have been scurrying around at the last minute trying to say hey let's get this," said Steve Henricks.
But that's not what they want, so they're taking action now.
"It is overwhelmeing and I think we just have to break it down step by step," said Jill Henricks.
Like many families, the Henricks didn't have an emergency kit or plan in place in case they're evacuated.
"And I think we're going to get very detailed with that plan," Jill said.
An emergency and evacuation plan should include knowing where you'll go, how to get the kids if they're not at home, how to take your pets, and have specific meeting spots. Then put it all in writing and go over that plan with all family members.
"Make a plan that addresses every possible problem you can think of," explained Colorado Springs Emergency Management Coordinator Ken Hughlett.
Then pack ahead of time. Everyone should have a basic emergency kit that includes food, water, clothing, toiletries, a flashlight, radio, first aid, etc, that would last your family for 72 hours.
Then personalize your kit, with important documents like birth certificates, insurance information, mortgage information, etc.
"Think about the important papers you'd need to restart your life," said Hughlett.
Keep all of those documents in place and make copies. Having medicines and a handwritten phone list is also key. And don't forget a phone charger in your kit.
"You don't have a lot of time to make that quick decision, 15 minutes and you need to be out of your house," said Hughlett.
For Jill, photos are important. But she doesn't want to be carrying off a lot of albums in an emergency. She has a better idea to be prepared.
" One of my goals is to put photos on CD's," she said.
Also, ask your children what are a few things they wouldn't want to leave behind and have them prepared to grab those items.
"I would probably bring my avengers baseball collection and my coin collection," said their son, Beau Henricks.
For children, sentimental items like special dolls or cards could be crucial to them.
"You want to think about the kids' feelings throughout because it's going to be a pretty scary time," said Jill.
After meeting with emergency managers, the Henricks now know what they have to do, the plans they have to make and even some mitigation around their home in the wooded Broadmoor area. So when it's go-time, they'll be ready.
"At least being prepared and having a thought process pre all events will help us a lot because we have so much to think about in that evacuation," said Jill.
Hughlett also recommends keeping your emergency kit in an easily accessible place, like a shelf in the garage near your car, or in a closet near the door you would exit.
You can also purchase pre-made emergency kits from the Red Cross, starting at $55. To find out more, go to the Red Cross website: http://www.redcross.org/co/denver
To find out if you're in a high risk area, and to get more information on how to prepare, the City of Colorado Springs has provided more information here: http://www.springsgov.com/Page.aspx?NavID=333