CHICAGO (CBS) — If there is a time when it becomes necessary to abandon your home, an emergency doesn’t afford you the opportunity to get all of your ducks in a row.

Doing so before disaster strikes is the best course of action. Here is a handy disaster checklist, provided by Encouragement For All.

Think About:

• What should I be doing to prepare for this hurricane?
• Do I have enough food, water, medications and other essentials? 3-5 day supply.
• What should I do if I am a care giver?
• What should I do if I am away from my home?
• Do I have an updated list of critical emergency numbers?
• How should I notify my family and friends? Is Facebook appropriate?
• Do I have maps or GPS with evacuation routes noted? Do I have fuel? Which car do I take?
• If I decide to evacuate, do I need to clean out my refrigerator / freezer?
• How will I transport and feed my pets?
• What toys and games should I bring to keep the kids entertained? Supplies for babies?
• What should I do if I lose power in my home?
• What mobile apps should I download to my phone to stay connected with important news?
• How do I stay in touch with my closest friends, family and colleagues?
• What are the most important items that I need to pack for the next 3-6 months?
• What should I do if my house starts to flood?
• Will my home owner’s insurance cover storm damage?
• How do I make sure that I paid my flood insurance?
• If I get stranded, what are my best options for rescue?
• Do I have copies of all my most important documents?

Words that might be encouraging: 

• Whatever happens, we will get through this together
• Do you need help prioritizing the most important things to do after the storm?
• Are you aware of federal resources that are available to you and your family?
• If you plan to evacuate, I can work on finding you a place to stay
• After you get through the Hurricane, you can use my house as your home base
• Can you keep me updated each day on your physical location?
• I can wire money to your bank account if you need cash right away
• We have bedrooms available in our home, “Mi Casa Su Casa.”
• We are praying for you and your family right now (…if open to faith based support)
• I can assist with making calls to family and friends
• I can assist with contacting agencies for disaster relief
• When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on – Franklin Roosevelt
• “If you are going through hell, keep going” – Winston Churchill

Words that might be discouraging:

• “Don’t let this situation weigh you down…just focus on getting through it”
• “Oh, you poor thing, I feel so badly that you have to go through this…”
• “Don’t get down on yourself…everything is going to be ok”
• “I feel so blessed and lucky that I don’t live in that area anymore”
• “Looking at the news, the people look like refugees”
• Do you have any regrets about living in the area that you live in?
• Do you have any regrets about living so close to the water?
• Do you know how long you might be displaced?

Encouraging gifts and goodwill:
• Money Transfers & Gift Cards – PayPal,,
• Gift Certificates – Favorite Restaurants, Clothing, Hardware Stores. Minimize unexpected expenses
• New Bed Pillows & Pillow Covers – A good night of sleep on a fresh set of linens…priceless
• Air Mattress & Sheets – Include a battery powered air pump. Flexible housing
• Pop-up Tent – Onsite shelter. Mold free. Easy set up and tear down
• Portable Chairs and Patio Umbrellas – Protection from the sun. Clean seating. Easy set up and tear down
• Leather Work Gloves – Used for clean-up efforts at,
• Cell Phone Accessories – Chargers, Speakers, Cords, Headphones at
• Healthy Snack Foods – Non-Perishables, Protein Rich
• Clothing – Sweat Pants, Tennis Shoes, Jeans, Hats, Dress Shirts
• Coaching Session – 30-minute phone call with a stress management counselor
• Prepaid Hotel Vouchers – Safe, reliable, and private temporary housing
• Service Vouchers – Massage, Nails, Gym, Movies, Internet Cafe

Poetic Systems also offers a universally accessible web platform for disaster recovery, such as one for Hurricane Harvey. That platform was quickly translated for use in Florida in anticipation of Hurricane Irma.

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