Amazingly, just recently a Disney area sinkhole swallowed a time-share building on August 12th. Thankfully, nobody was seriously injured or killed, but residents say they had only minutes to evacuate. Sinkholes are extremely rare, even in Central Florida, but there are steps that everyone can take in preparing for a sinkhole, in the rare event of one swallowing your home and thus making you one of the least-luckiest people alive.
This should go without saying, but you should prepare and assemble your ‘disaster kit’ BEFORE a disaster strikes. Emergency measures to escape from your Orlando-area rental home don’t work as effectively if they are not assembled until after the disaster has occurred.
You probably hear local news stations reminding you to stock up on water and canned foods before a hurricane or tropical storm. They outline what you need to have on hand in your house assuming you won’t have power or access to transportation for a while. These tips are great, but most of them won’t do if you’re preparing for a sinkhole.
So, how do you prepare for a sinkhole? You could work on your sprinting techniques to be able to get out of the home as quickly as possible, or you could buy one of those grappling guns like Batman so that you can save yourself should you start falling (literally) into a Central Florida sinkhole.
Well, sure, but you can also….
Make a ‘grab and go’ kit!
Gather all important family documents, (birth certificates, deeds, insurance policies, drivers licenses, important prescriptions, social security information, etc). Be sure to include any pertinent health information as well as the names and numbers of your family physician, attorney and next of kin. Make copies of these (copies, NOT originals), put them in a zip-type waterproof bag and store them somewhere you can quickly access; as in, that you can grab and leave your home in under a minute. You have just made a grab and go kit, which is a great step in preparing for a sinkhole!
Other items you may want to include are:
– A credit card
– Spare car keys and/or keys to another residence
– A journal of computer passwords in case all of yours are memorized on your computer
One last thought – Designate a family meeting place should you get separated for any reason. A local shopping center, a specific fire station, or somewhere away from your home that your family members can congregate and account for each other can save a lot of unnecessary worrying.
Odds are you will never even know someone whose house is swallowed by a sinkhole, let alone have it happen to you. But, with a grab and go kit, you will have the peace of mind to know that, should the unexpected happen, at least you’ll be prepared.