EL PASO COUNTY — If you needed to evacuate from your home, would you know what to take with you? Would you know which routes to take?
As part of National Preparedness Month, News5's Jessica Barreto spoke to Robin Adair with El Paso County's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to discuss what you need to pack in your kit, and how to plan an evacuation route.
Adair says you should have a kit ready in case you need to evacuate, and also in case you need to hunker down inside your home.
For both scenarios, you should plan for at least 72 hours and communication comes first, so be sure to have back-ups for devices you use everyday.
"People take for granted that they're gonna be able to communicate with each other," Adais explained.
"That's huge. If your children are at school, and you're at home, and somebody else is at work and grandma is in another neighborhood, how are you going to make sure everybody's OK?"
You should also have food like non-perishable items, a radio to keep updated on the emergency situation, a filter mask, prescription medications and other important paperwork.
Here is the full check list of items you should have in your emergency kit:
You can find more Go Kit Tips here.
It's also important to re-visit your emergency kit every season to make sure everything's up to date.
When it comes to creating an evacuation plan, you should consider the safety risks that are present in your neighborhood, such as gas lines, bridges and other structures that could be compromised depending on the natural disaster you're faced with.
It's also important to plan two ways out, especially if you're used to taking one way in and one way out of your neighborhood.
Beyond your neighborhood, you should also consider evacuation plans for the area where you work and/or go to school.
CERT offers free classes for the community where you can practice evacuation scenarios, and learn other important lessons like how to properly use a fire extinguisher and how to turn off your home's gas meter.
Below are the following classes you can register for using the link next to the dates listed:
- September 24 – 28 in Monument: http://epccertsept19.eventzilla.net
- October 15 -19 in Colorado Springs: http://epccertoct19.eventzilla.net
- November 19 – 23 in Colorado Springs: http://epccertnov19.eventzilla.net
For more information on these classes, click here,
If you'd like to browse and download different natural disaster preparedness guides and neighborhood resources, you can check out El Paso County's full list of resources here.