By: GreyLocke
24 September 2005

Hurricane Rita was heading for my house. The local government called for a mandatory evacuation. The rush was then on. All the stores were running out of bottled water, bread, and other staples. I didnít join the rush to the store. Why? I already had my main vehicle already loaded with food, water and fuel. All I really had to do was to load my generators and extra gas, our important papers and my firearms. Then load up the kids and pets and leave. The evacuation order came in Wednesday night at 8:30 pm CDT. My family was ready to leave by midnight. Everything loaded up, all we needed to do was get in and go. But we didnít leave immediately. My mother was worried about some of her stuff. So we took time to load up her stuff, which took us about 3 more hours. By that time the hurricane had moved a little more north. So we decided to get some sleep before pulling out. We decided that we would leave at 3:00 pm, on Thursday. So with my cell phone set up to receive e-mail alerts, I went to sleep. In the morning when I woke up the storm was still going north, and early in the afternoon it decreased from a category 5 to a category 4, and was still going north northwest. So weíre all packed up, and ready to go. Did we have a place to go to? Yes we did. My mom originally planned to go all the way across the state, about 400 miles. Until I pointed out that , that would put us in the worst of the traffic, and cost us in time and fuel. So we decided to go south for 40-50 miles then head west to Laredo. This would give us mostly clear roads, and would take us further out of the hurricanes way, as it continued to go north and west. The final hours, before we HAD to leave approached. At 1:15 I was monitoring my scanner which was tuned to the NWS (National Weather Service) and it stated that the mandatory evacuation for the county I was in had been rescinded. I immediately started scanning the AM radio bands, and heard it broadcast on 3 of the stations I listen to. The evacuation was canceled for my county and the counties adjacent to it. So, I didnít have to leave, and I could get some real sleep. So I took a nap.

Things that went right during this evacuation that wasnít. All of my initial preparations were validated. I proved that in a situation where time is of the essence, I could if necessary have my family and the most important possessions on itís way out of harms way in less than 4 hours. My handheld 40 channel CBís with cigarette lighter power adapters proved a really good investment to keep all of us in contact as we left.

Things that didnít go right. I need an adapter for my trailer to wire it to my truck so the lights work properly. I need to help my mom get a little better organized and ensure that she has the proper packaging materials at her house. I need to buy a lot more duct tape. I need to have more games set aside for my kids, the ones I had were for children younger than they are, as I bought them a few years back, and they have now out grown of them, and you really want to be sure you keep your kids occupied during the stress of an evacuation. Sun Block and bug repellant.

Have you set it up so if there was an evacuation called, you could leave with minimal notice? When you leave, are you going to be an Evacuee, or a Refugee?

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