How to Be Ready to Leave

Home Stager with Room Service Home Staging

How to Be Ready to Leave


Last week our area had strong storms and at one point a tornado watch was issued. Thankfully, my immediate area had lightning, some rains, and strong winds but no tornado. 

However, it made me ask myself ...Am I prepared to leave or be out of the house if we have to? 


I’ve been through a lot of hurricanes and have a list of what to do and emergency listhow to prepare.  But, with hurricanes you know it’s have days (usually) to prepare. Not so with a fire or flood, or a tornado or other emergency. 


You may have only seconds to get you and others in the house out. Or if you're lucky, you’ll have enough time to grab a few necessary items. 


Are you ready to leave?

Would you know what to take and would you know where everything you need is? 


How to be ready to leave...


Think about what you would need if you had to be away from your home overnight or for a day or more. 

The list should be tailored for your needs but could include:

-Prescription meds

-Your wallet/purse and identification. Cash and credit cards. 

-Glasses or contacts

-Devices like your phone or laptop and external backup hard drives if you have them. You can always purchase extra chargers but if you have them handy it will make it easier to stay in touch with others. 

-Car keys and other keys you’ll need. If you have a safe deposit box, for example, you’ll need this key. 

file-Important documents: these would be items like birth certificates and marriage licenses and insurance papers.


Proof of who you are is so important in getting other documents and licenses these days!

-Pets: I know you’ll remember them but have their leash or pet carrier handy too. You won’t want to risk their being running away in all of the excitement. 


*I didn’t include items that you could buy if you needed them. These might be things like clothing and food. 



Make a list of those items and where they are.  Get in the habit of putting your purse and keys or wallet in the same place when you walk in the door, for example. 

When the adrenalin kicks in and you need to evacuate you’ll need to be able to grab and go. You won’t have the time to try to remember what you need to grab or run around from room to room!


(When we thought a tornado might be on the way, I made sure that Larry’s wallet was in my purse ready to go.)


Put that list in a place where it will be easy to find.  Put it on the fridge if you have to!

The most important thing to remember is that most things can be replaced. It may take some extra work and phone calls but you will replace them. YOU and your family members are more important. 


If you need to leave...LEAVE!


 In our heads, we all know what needs to go. We’ve walked through the scenario in our heads. That’s a good thing BUT don’t rely on that. 


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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Nina Hollander chances are you never will have to. 

Hi Beth Atalay We've all had to get ready in FL several times, right?

Ron and Alexandra Seigel I was also thought of you two out with the fires. 

Jan 14, 2020 11:42 AM #22
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

George Souto tornados and earthquakes scare me!

Exactly Sharon Lee If nothing happens, so what!

Lottie Kendall glad that she has taken care of that. I figured that the other stuff I can always buy. 

Jan 14, 2020 11:45 AM #23
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Sheila Anderson absolutely!!! It's easy for Larry and me to head to the car but you have to round up the fur kids (which can't be easy) and also have carriers for them. 

Jan 14, 2020 11:46 AM #24
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Kathy Streib - this is a big top which comes under emergency  preparedness

Jan 14, 2020 11:48 AM #25
Anna Banana Kruchten Broker/Owner, CRB, CRS
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ

Oh Kathy you have no idea of how close to home this post is for my clients.  Two weeks ago our clients were forced out of their dream home with their 2 young boys, due to and instant fire and had no time to take anything with them. Zero. It was discovered the AC that was installed just last year was poorly installed and caused the fire. The house is a total loss.  They'll be out of their home for at least a year while it is built from the ground up. They have a huge family and many friends and are surrounding them with love and lots of giving and helping for whatever they need.  But Oh man, it's a mess......and they're learning to 'live' with it and doing the best they can day to day.


Your post is extremely important! Extremely!  We never know if we could be next and forced into, for whatever reason, evacuate in a heartbeat..... and being prepared to leave quickly makes it easier to recover and at the very least have the essentials.

Jan 14, 2020 12:49 PM #26
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Kathy, that is good advice. I used to live in Tornado Alley in OK, and this information would have been handy then.

Jan 14, 2020 01:27 PM #27
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Thank you for sharing the important information on being ready to make a move quickly. Sage advice for sure. 

Jan 14, 2020 03:33 PM #28
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Nearly every part of the United States has some condition that leaves it vulnerable to natural disaster.  It is important to identify those vulnerabilities, and adequately prepare for them.

Jan 14, 2020 05:58 PM #29
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

CONGRATULATIONS Kathy, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Jan 14, 2020 05:59 PM #30
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Kathy.

Back to back features, I must be doing something right.  Everything worth keeping can be had in about 5 minutes or less.  

Jan 15, 2020 01:23 AM #31
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Kathy Streib,

What a great list to share if you need to leave in a hurry! I was in Dallas over the week-end, left Friday and they had some strong winds and weather!! I was worried not being home if Austin got hit hard. Thankfully they didn't.

Jan 15, 2020 04:27 AM #32
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Im glad you are safe and sound now   I need to think about what I would take. 

Jan 15, 2020 05:17 AM #33
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Well...I have most of my makeup and personal grooming stuff in a case I take back and forth from house to camper. So that much is ready to go! 

I may not have my documents and important stuff, but I'll look good. LOL

No, seriously...this is great info and something to work on. I certainly hope this never is an issue.

Jan 15, 2020 09:29 AM #34
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Hi, Kathy.

   Good advice!  I live by the Boy Scout Motto:  Be Prepared

  BTW, I was in Palm Beach this past Sunday; I regret not calling you for coffee.  I was with my wife and her best friend, time constraints, etc. so hopefully next time.

  I took my wife to "The Circle" at the Breakers for Sunday brunch.  It's everything they said it would be, and more.  I look forward to a return trip. 

Jan 15, 2020 09:47 AM #35
Catherine Ulrey
Keller Williams Capital City - Salem, OR
Equestrian and Acreage Property Specialist

I have never had to be in this situation, I just can't imagine going through such an emergency.  But it would be good to be prepared!

Jan 15, 2020 11:08 AM #36
Kathleen Lordbock
Keller Williams Realty Professionals - Baxter, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals

All great ideas to prepare for a disaster. We have tornados and wildfires here in central Minnesota. As we also have horses there are so many things to do and with a tornado no time to spare.

Jan 15, 2020 12:03 PM #37
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Great ideas for everybody in disaster zones!!!  Thanks, Kathy!

Jan 15, 2020 03:05 PM #38
faye schubert
Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

I have a zip lock bag with insurance and other vital papers ready to go quickly. 

I learned the hard way after Katrina, that cash is king when there is no power anywhere. 

Jan 16, 2020 06:19 AM #39
Eva B. Liland Century 21 Doug Anderson
Century 21 Doug Anderson - Lancaster, CA
Glad to be of Service 661-714-1643

A great reminder for where you live. Honestly, I'm going to bookmark this page and take some time getting disaster-prepared myself. I still remember the Northridge earthquake back in -94 and having no gas in my car, all gas stations closed for days and not being able to go home to see in what condition my house was in.

Jan 17, 2020 05:46 AM #40
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I've never really thought about that but now that you bring it up....I can think of a couple of items, and I know where they are, that I would take if possible.  Thanks for the informative post!

Jan 17, 2020 06:45 AM #41
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Kathy Streib

Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224
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