Hearing the words “mandatory evacuation” can bring up a slew of emotions, and not good ones. If you have an RV, however, you may be able to put some of those negative emotions at ease. It won’t help protect what you’re leaving behind, but it’ll give you the ability to bring the feeling of home with you.
None of us want to use our RV for a weather-related evacuation, but it sure is nice to have the option. Here are some steps you can take to have your RV and family ready to go if you ever have to do the unthinkable.
Using your RV for weather-related evacuation
My wife Katie and I started a camp-hosting gig a couple years back (our first one ever). Two days later, three wildfires popped up, with one starting 100 yards from our RV. Over the following month, we saw people coming in from all over with their RVs, as well as the fire workers setting up camp in the RV park where we were camp-hosting. During this time, we saw first hand how helpful having an RV can be in these difficult times.
Pay close attention to the weather in your area
It’s important to stay up to date with the weather in your area. I’ve made it a point to take a couple minutes every morning to look at what’s happening in and around my area. This gives me peace of mind, but also allows me to better understand what may be going on. A weather radio can be very helpful to have on hand in case of an emergency, especially if cell towers go down.
With that said, weather-related events can creep up without warning, which is why the next few steps are extremely important.
Let’s say you know an extreme weather-related incident is on the way. There are a couple of things you can do in order to make the before, during, and after a little easier:
- Take pictures or video of your belongings.
- Check with your insurance company to make sure you’re protected against the unexpected.
- Have waterproof bags for important documents and keepsakes.
- Get to the store as early as possible for food, gas, propane, and other essentials.
- Have all pet crates in an easy-to-reach location.
- Create a go-bag for everything you need away from home.
By taking care of these items beforehand, you’ll have less to worry about as you’re making your way out of the target area. The more stress you’re able to take off your plate, the more energy you’ll have to focus on keeping yourself and everyone with you safe during the event.
Have a plan
It’s important to be aware of the surrounding area and how you’d plan to make your exit if an evacuation was called. If you’re in a sticks and bricks home, this can be a little easier because you’re familiar with the area. If you’re traveling in an RV to unknown areas, it can be a bit trickier. Below are some questions to keep in mind when making your plan:
- Where’s the nearest hospital?
- Where’s the nearest shelter?
- What are the best roads to leave on if you need to go north, south, east, or west?
- Where is the closest store/gas station?
- What must go with you?
- Where will you go?
The most important thing to keep in mind is the safety of yourself and whoever else is with you.