Why You Need an Emergency Lanyard for a Disaster or Evacuation - DIY Preparedness

You’ve no doubt heard of 72-hour kits, bug out bags, first aid kits and other preparedness items and why you need them. You probably already have these kits on hand. However, have you heard of an Emergency Lanyard? You may wonder what purpose could a lanyard fill? I can tell you… plenty.

Emergency Lanyard Hanging - DIY Prepareness - Preparedness Kits


What is an Emergency Lanyard?

It is a little kit that you can quickly grab when you are needing to leave your home within seconds or minutes. It is for when you have little to no time to grab anything else, or when you are being evacuated and are not allowed to bring much else.

Emergency Lanyards Items - Preparedness Kits (3)

Your emergency lanyard would have items hanging from it that you would need in an emergency shelter situation to prove your identity, your family’s identity, ownership of your property and home, and other items needed in an emergency shelter situation.

NOTE – You can make your own Emergency Lanyard, or you can purchase Made-to-Order Lanyards from my other site: PreparednessKits.net. Click here to see and purchase emergency lanyards for your family.


When You Need to Evacuate Your Home

There are many situations where you may need to leave your home quickly for your own safety. Here are just a few:

  1. House fire
  2. Wildfire
  3. Earthquake
  4. Home Flooding
  5. Flash Flood or Landslide
  6. Coming storm
  7. Chemical Spill
  8. FEMA Evacuation
  9. Civil Unrest / Neighborhood Rioting
  10. Nuclear Attack
  11. Biological Attack


Family Evacuating - DIY Preparedness - Emergency Lanyard

The fact is, there have been many times that people have had to leave their homes so quickly that they didn’t have time to grab their 72-hour kits or other supplies. This happened in 2018 in Paradise California where a wildfire spread so quickly that most residents never even received a warning before they had to literally run for their lives.

Fires - Paradise California - DIY Preparedness - Emergency Lanyards

The fire moved so fast that it trapped some people inside their homes and over 80 people died. There was no time to grab kits or possessions inside their home, they had to just leave as quickly as possible. 


FEMA Evacuation

A woman named Meg Kitchen shared with a large group of people how she went through a FEMA evacuation for a chemical spill in her area.  FEMA pounded on their door at 2:30 in the morning giving them 3 minutes to grab what they could and get in their bus to be evacuated. They were only allowed to bring what they could hold on their lap. Any “hazardous” materials they confiscated which included knives, guns and lighters. So if these items were in your emergency kits, they were taken from you.

Confiscated - Lighter Knife & Gun - DIY Prepareness - Emergency Lanyards

People were forced to get on the bus to evacuate and if they refused, they were tazered. If a bus got full before all your family members were on, they would be escorted to go on a different bus which may go to a different location.


Evacuation bus - DIY Preparedness

They were driven 20 miles away from the area to a school gymnasium set up as their emergency shelter. Each person was given about a 4 by 8 foot of space. They had guards at the door for safety, but also to keep other people who were not part of the evacuation from entering and taking supplies, like homeless people. She said the toilet facilities in the school broke within 24 hours due to the overload and would not flush. The lights were on the whole time with constant noise 24/7.

Emergency Shelter Fema - DIY Preparedness - Emergency Lanyards

She advised every person listening to not get on a FEMA bus for evacuation unless you’ve counted the seats first and know there are enough for all of your family. Let your pets outside to fend for themselves as sadly, most pets left inside were found dead upon return. She said people who were PROVEN VOTERS got moved to the front of the line for food and supplies.

The items she mentioned that were super helpful in this situation were:

  1. Earplugs. To be able to sleep with all the noise.
  2. Bandana. To cover your eyes from the light and as a face covering.
  3. USB flash drive. With digital files showing your social security card, birth certificate, pictures of you and your family, and other forms of ID. A birth certificate alone wasn’t enough.
  4. Whistle
  5. Chapstick. Keep lips from drying and cracking.
  6. Water Purification
  7. Compass
  8. LED Light


Emergency Lanyard - DIY Preparedness

How convenient to have these items and other helpful things on a lanyard around your neck to access easily and take with you anywhere. She mentioned an emergency lanyard would have been perfect for this situation.


Have You Heard of Squatters Rights?

During the evacuation of her family due to a chemical spill, Meg Kitchen talked about how many people became concerned after a day or two that looters were entering their homes and taking their property. However, no matter how much they voiced their concerns, they were not allowed to leave until the area was considered safe. Sadly, many homes were looted and some even had “squatters” who took up residence in their home.

Squatters Rights - DIY Preparedness - Emergency Lanyards

The rights of squatters vary by state, but in an emergency situation, things may not go as your think they should. Meg Kitchen said that upon her and her neighbors returning home, many people found squatters living in their homes. (By the way, this also happened during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and many other disasters). The squatters were allowed to remain in the home UNLESS the homeowner could PROVE ownership.

If the family had left in a hurry and didn’t have any proof of ownership on them, then the battle to get their home back became much more difficult.

This was also true with personal property. Many people found their belongings gone, furniture gone, and vehicles stolen. How could they prove those items belonged to them in order to even begin to locate them? Having video footage of your personal property and/or a list with you on a USB drive could help you get your property returned.


The USB Flash Drive on your Emergency Lanyard

USB Drive - DIY Preparedness - Emergency Lanyard

Having your important digital files on a USB flash drive on your Emergency Lanyard ready to grab by the door is vital. In an emergency, with these digital documents and pictures, you could:

  1. Prove the identity of each family member
  2. Prove that your kids are yours
  3. Prove that you have custody of your kids
  4. Prove that you own (or rent) your home
  5. Prove that you own each of your vehicles
  6. Prove that you own all of your personal property
  7. Prove that you have insurance
  8. Have contact information for all your financial accounts
  9. Have contact information for all your insurance policies
  10. Have contact information for all your health and medical professionals
  11. Have contact information of all your friends, family, associates and loved ones
  12. Have your medical records
  13. Have proof of what medications you take
  14. Have information about your pets


You may say that you have all this already stored in the cloud. While that is a good option, it wouldn’t cover you if the internet were down or during a power outage. There is wisdom in having your actual digital documents in hand in an emergency situation, without being dependent on access to the cloud.

Whether you are being evacuated by FEMA or not, the idea of an emergency lanyard for anytime you must leave your home quickly is genius.

Hanging by door - Emergency Lanyards

No matter what the reason to get out of dodge quickly, what peace of mind would you have knowing that each family member has a copy of these important documents and pictures on a USB drive around their neck? Even if you lost everything, you would have proof of your identity, your family, and all your belongings. And to have items to help make staying in a shelter much more tolerable and helpful.

Emergency Lanyards Hanging By the Door

We can’t predict when we may need to evacuate quickly, that’s why we prepare for it. It’s not luck that helps us, it’s being prepared.

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