Pack as much as you can in the car so if/when something happens - you just have to grab what couldn't be packed in the car- car keys and guinea pigs - and GO! If you can safely do so, lock your purse in the truck of the car. To save time, sleep in regular clothes – that way just need to put on shoes and socks.
The most important items are the hard to replace/impossible to replace in an emergency. Remember prescription items - prescription medicines and prescription eyeglasses. Also important are toilet paper and other sanitary items such as hand cleaner where no water is needed. Definitely a change of shoes, and changes of underwear and socks.
Food stuffs that don’t need refrigeration should go into the car – canned meat, fruit, vegetables, already cooked things that can be eaten from the can, crackers, cereal, and other non-perishable food items. As long as there are no special health concerns, people can live on Spam and tuna for a week. It isn’t fun, but doable.
Don’t forget the can opener along with batteries and a radio.
Bottled water, bottled water, and bottled water.
If it cannot go into the car due to heat considerations, or have to use it inside the house periodically, etc. put it by the door so it's readily handy. For example, I don’t know how guinea pig pellets will do stored in a hot car for an indefinite period. Can put in your suitcase by the door.
If you can get the cages setup in the car as much as possible, you might just have to grab the guinea pigs and go. If you need a ‘carrier’ for them, put a couple of pillowcases by their cages. They won’t be too happy to be tossed into a pillowcase, but it’s a quick way to get them. Another would be a laundry basket, but you mentioned your babies will fight with each other.
Also, tip from friends who went through earthquake in California. Get a stash of cash money if possible. If electricity goes ATM machines and credit card machines aren't going to work.
If you are staying, fill as many containers with water as you have - the bathtub, pots and pans, empty jugs, etc. Along with filling the bathtub, if you have a washing machine start it empty and let it fill to the brim - then turn off it.
I live in New England and have to deal with snow worries every winter. It's better to prepare 1,000 times for something that doesn't happen, then to NOT prepare one time and have it happen. Hope to go through all my life preparing for disasters that don’t happen. Most important things to have in the house besides heat are food and toilet paper.
I would go with the 5in of carefresh in rubbermaid tubs next time, to be honest. Plus, the pigs dragged their hay ALL OVER the fleece.
I hope things go well for you!
- Wheekness for Pigs
Think about getting one of those crank radios. We have one that you crank for about a minute for 1/2 hour of use. They also have inexpensive crank lights. This way, batteries are one less thing to carry/remember/run out of. Plus, if things go on for awhile, you simply supply the power as needed.
Pack waterproof matches. This way, if you get to a little place where you can stop/camp, you may be able to light a fire, heat some food, etc. Also may prove useful in lighting a fire under a FEMA official!! ;-)
Pack various sizes of plastic bags. They are great for heating food, rain ponchos, keeping things organized and packable.
- Sewing for a Cause
I'd also put in 2-3 flat sheets if I could. In the car they can keep sun off of pigs, outside as well (when you are safe of course). If you'll be staying at a hotel they would be handy to put down on the floor for the pigs to run on, quick clean up. Can make tents with them too inside or out.
Would like to say to that the hard shell cat carriers, most now come with place to strap in seat belts. I really like that feature, one never knows. And they do stack nicely. What ever carrier you do get, I'd start getting the pigs use to them A.S.A.P. and associate them with good things. This way when it is time, you can set one in one cage while you get another pig in theirs and most of the time when I get back to the one I set in, pigs are already in. Since it's a familiar thing, there hopefully will be less stress for them. Going out for grass and floor time are two good association times.
Thank you all for your thoughts and wishes!
- Two Time Supporter
A few 20L cans could do wonders for your safety down the line.