MILWAUKEE -- Many of the Harvey victims in Texas whose homes have flooded had just a few hours' warning to pack up and get to safety, which begs the question: Would you know what to drab if you were forced to evacuate at a moment's notice?
The Milwaukee Fire Department encourages families to have an emergency survival kit at home that you can grab in a split second if you're forced from your home.
Amid the heartbreaking images that have come out of Texas after Harvey, showing rescues by boat and people wading through water, first responders in Milwaukee on Wednesday, August 30th said we must remember that disasters can happen at any time, anywhere.
"I can't imagine the hopelessness," MFD Deputy Chief Aaron Lipski said.
While Wisconsin won't experience a hurricane, Lipski said homes are often evacuated due to gas leaks, flash flooding and tornadoes. He said the easiest way to prepare for a disaster is to have a backpack already filled with survival supplies.
"You may not be able to go to the faucet and turn it on and fill bottles of water to take with you. You may not have an opportunity to run to the store and pick up extra supplies, extra food," Lipski said.
FOX6 News asked some people on Wednesday whether they have a survival kit and emergency plan in place, and some weren't even sure what would go in one.
First responders say you should include dozens of items, from flashlights to cell phone chargers, blankets, cash and medication.
Lipski said the better prepared you are, the faster you'll be able to get to safety, especially in situations where every minute counts.
"It's the things that we all take for granted on a daily basis when things are going well. When we're not having the emergency, but that when the switch gets thrown, and we're having the worst day of our lives, become critically important," Lipski said.
CLICK HERE for a list of suggested items for a home emergency survival kit.