Evacuation isn't just something that happens to the other guy, notes Linda McCabe in a recent issue of the Association of American Foreign Service Women's newsletter.

McCabe who helped staff the Iranian Evacusees Support Network Program, devised this basic checklist for a family faced with the possibility of evacuation from a host country:

1. Pack versatile clothing in the one suitcase allowed. Be prepared to weather a change of season at the assigned safe haven.

2. Keep a record or portable file that includes:

Prescriptions needed by family members (including eyeglasses);

Medical records;

Important papers -- rental contracts, savings bonds, insurance, etc.;

Legal wills;

Bank books, extra checks, travelers checks;

Power of attorney (comprehensive, to allow spouse to draw on joint accounts, rent a house, borrow money);

Names and numbers of credit cards;

Updating of business and personal correspondence, including record of bills due;

Letters of employment or recommendation;

Inventory of household effects, including car registration;

List of offical contact points, with phone numbers, both in the Washington area and the expected safe haven.

3. Ask for information about possible safe havens and the allowances you would be eligible for at each of the posts.

4. Consider the duration of the evacuation and decide where your family would be most comfortable.