"We still haven't gotten home. . . still learning how to do this evacuation thing," a community leader confided following the most recent evacuation order being lifted. The "evacuation season" takes physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual tolls the community, and it does not discriminate. These challenges impact people of all ages and across all socioeconomic and demographic divides. Ongoing and unpredictable evacuation orders wreak havoc on daily business operations, the practice of religious holidays, and necessary caregiving of children and elders.
What's helping you make it through? Feel free to share in the comments below.
And here are a few more helpful tips and practices:
Replenish "Go" Bags
Between evacuations, in "times of peace" and when you feel less pressure, prepare "go" bags for you and your housemates, including bottled water, a few changes of clothes, comfortable shoes, a reminder note to grab necessary medications when needed, a charged battery-pack phone charger, a flashlight, a radio, and extra toiletries.
Gather with Neighbors upon Return
Plan for informal pot-luck gatherings with a few neighbors or community group members. Share about how your evacuation went. Encourage one another. Share with one another about what is going well.
Lend a Helping Hand
There are lots of ways to help neighbors in preparation for future evacuations, including:
Tend to Your Health
What else has been working for you, your family, or your neighbors?