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5-Minute Emergency Checklist

5-Minute Emergency Checklist

5-Minute Emergency Checklist

This past summer I remember watching the news about the devastating fires in Colorado. Many of the people interviewed said the all too familiar “we had no idea the fire was so close to our house, we only had minutes to evacuate.” If you found yourself in their position would you be able to evacuate your home in 5 minutes or less?

The thing is, a lot of people are prepared and have food and water stored at home for sheltering in place. But I’d be willing to bet if I knocked on 100 doors and said “you’ve got 5 minutes to evacuate this house”, 99 of those people would be running around like a chicken with their heads cut off unsure of what they should grab.

And because in an emergency you’re already under a lot of stress, I have created a very simple checklist for my family that we will follow in case we have to flee our house ASAP. (The checklist lists the person’s name that is in charge of grabbing each item during the evacuation.)

Jason – 72-hour kits

Jason – Small safe that contains passports, birth certificates, cash, and other important documents.

Jason – Guns and Ammo (Both Glock 19s, AR-15. I have this ammo stored in a small Rubbermaid container that I can quickly grab.)

Jason – Jason’s clothes bag

Amanda – Baby’s bag full of diapers, wipes, formula, clothes

Amanda – Amanda’s clothes bag

Amanda – Medicine for entire family

That’s the entire checklist. It’s not meant to be a survival checklist with 79 different items. It’s meant to be a practical checklist that allows you to truly get out of your house in just a few minutes.

I realize all of us would love to get our photo albums and other sentimental items, but if you find out a fire or tornado is coming any minute, then those things are not essential and will have to get left behind.

I also realize that like any checklist, you’ll want to modify it and add different items than I have to suit your needs. But be very careful not to get carried away and be sure you could literally escape your house in 5 minutes flat. In other words, keep it simple.

So some time this week I encourage you to have a family meeting and sit down with everyone and make your own 5-minute emergency checklist. Then assign each member of the family different items to grab in the house. Also, don’t forget to have the checklist where everyone can see it. (Mine is posted in my home office.)

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  • Zane

    Jason- first of all I appreciate your articles, keep the good work coming. Second, you mentioned in a recent article that you have more than just two Glocks and one AR. You would leave those behind?

  • Vanns40

    In this day and age the other item that you probably have to grab is the computer. If it’s a desktop not the keyboard or monitor, just the tower. Laptops are much easier.

    • civilian military contractor

      Finally someone who is giving these topics a little bit of logic and depth. The author surely should not have missed this mandatory item.

  • Prepared&Ready

    Great article!

    There is a reason that our forefathers believed in the “minute-man militia” concept. One very useful item that I have come across in my search for the perfect “bug-out” gear is a military small ordinance box that I found at a local Army-Surplus store. It is approximately 6″w x 12″d x 26″h. It is a larger version of the standard military ammo box. It is sturdy and weather resistant and it can hold my survival rifle (broken down) and about 600 rounds of ammo. I keep it right next to our 72-hour kits (conveniently packaged in a medium sized backpack) and they are ready to go in an instant. Given enough time, I would then gather other items, including more of my firearms, but if we had 60-seconds to evacuate, we would do well for several days and hopefully, in the meantime be able to return and pick up a few other items.
    Another strategy that I would share is to keep some ammo in a separate location, outside of the house in a weatherproof container. This way, if you could not get back into the house for some reason, or if the house were destroyed, you would have a stash of ammo that you could get access to. With this suggestion, however, comes a HUGE caution! Be very careful where you keep this extra ammo and be absolutely certain that it could not fall into the wrong hands. Especially a curious child or adolescent. We are the first line of defense against accidental discharge of any weapon or ammunition.

  • Joe

    With the Digital era you should keep a backup of your digital photos in the safe. It can be on a dvd or an external hard drive. Then when you have to split you will have all of your memories with you

  • William Tell

    Ugh, again with the thin content…

  • Sharpshooter

    Dude you forgot the B.O.B. and it’s really irresponsible to keep ammunition in an “unlocked” Rubbermaid container. Great topic though!

  • StopPostingHere

    Thank for adding “Jason – 72-hour kits” to your post after reading the comment you idiot.