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Windy beachA hurricane is predicted. A tornado or earthquake has occurred. In any case, you are in a situation in which you are not able to stay in your home. If the damage was too much and your home is no longer livable or the risk of injury if you stay is too high, you need to evacuate. Hopefully you will have a friend or relative that you can stay with. If not, you may find a shelter that is available. Whatever the reason for evacuation and wherever the destination, you will need to figure out what to bring with you when you leave.

How much you are able to bring really depends on the time you have to pack. If you are preparing a few days in advance of a hurricane, you may have plenty of time. If you are evacuating because it is not safe immediately after a disaster, time may be limited. Consider the following suggestions:

Packing Quickly

  • Disaster kit (if you have one prepared)
  • Food
  • Water
  • Medication
  • Insurance information
  • Identification

Packing with Plenty of Time

  • Items listed above
  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Something to sleep on like an air mattress
  • Clothes
  • Toothpaste, toothbrush, and toiletries
  • Towel
  • Important mementos like wedding photos, jewelry, diary etc.
  • Entertainment items like books and magazines


People with pets face an additional challenge. What do you do with your pet when you are evacuating? Hopefully you can bring your pet with you to a friend or family. If you are heading to a shelter, you should find out prior to departing if pets are accepted because some shelters don't allow pets. For your pets, you should pack the following items:

  • Vaccination information
  • Collar and leash
  • Pet food
  • Water
  • Favorite toys


The disaster that damaged your home likely damaged roads as well. If you are leaving in advance of a storm, you may find that your preferred route is very congested. Before you depart, realize you may need to take an alternate route. Think ahead of multiple ways to your destination so you can accommodate any unexpected route issues.

It is difficult to leave your home, but it may be necessary to keep you and your loved ones safe. It may take many days for power to be restored, safety to be verified and clean drinking water to become available. After you return home, it will still take a while for life to return to normal. Luckily, your homeowners insurance (or flood insurance) can come to rescue if the disaster that caused the damage is included in your policy’s coverage.

Protect your family’s assets. Call 504-556-0809 for more information on Metairie home insurance.

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