Wildfire Season: Are You Ready? I’m not. I should be. You’d think with my past experience that I would have emergency preparation down pat. Down cold. In the bag. But, I don’t. Even though I don’t feel prepared, I’m probably more prepared than most Americans. Because even though I don’t feel prepared, I’ve done some of the basics. Plus, I’ve lived through a devastating catastrophe and know what to expect.
What are some of the basics that I’ve done for emergency preparedness? Charlie and I have chosen 3 back-up plans should we not be together when a disaster occurs:
- We’ve picked a centralized meeting place in our immediate vicinity (our town).
- We’ve picked a centralized meeting place in the next county.
- We’ve designated an out-of-state contact (my sister) that we can both call to leave and retrieve information for each other, should we not be able to call each other locally.
And, we have this information written on cards and in our wallets (in case we forget!).
Also, we have done the following to prepare:
We have a suitcase packed with shoes and clothing on a shelf in our garage in front of my car for ease of extrapolation.
We have 3 days worth of emergency food for us and Coco packed and on the shelf in our garage.
We have 3 days worth of water for us and Coco on the shelf in our garage.
We have a well-rounded First Aid Kit packed and on the shelf in our garage. This First Aid Kit includes a large First Aid book, because we know that we don’t know anything about First Aid (something we should remedy).
We have sleeping bags and blankets on the shelf.
We have flashlights (and batteries), an emergency radio, basic tools, etc. on the shelf – all lined up, ready to go.
And, everything we’ve collected is in small plastic containers that I can lift and carry to our cars (because Charlie can’t do it, he’s handicapped, I have to make sure they are light-weight enough for me to lift and carry).
And, they fit in our cars (if you pack things in too large containers, they won’t fit in your car!).
And, we have back-up medical equipment for Charlie ready to go at all times (he’s handicapped).
We have a back-up generator that operates our entire house, including the sprinkler system in our home.
We have car cell phone chargers for both of our phones (we have different brand phones) in each of our vehicles as well as in our home.
We have a gravity-fed 10,000 gallon water tank on our property.
And, yet, I don’t feel prepared. That’s because you realize, once you have survived a natural disaster of biblical proportions, that you are never, ever, really, truly prepared. Because when a disaster happens that involves thousands of people, or hundreds of thousands of people, available resources for help (local, regional, national) are slim; the people that could/should/would be available to help during disasters (police, fire, rescue, other emergency agencies, volunteers) are often victims themselves.
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” – Buddha
Self-preservation may be instinctual, but self-reliance is learned. It’s never too late to learn new things that could benefit you and your family should a disaster occur and you find yourselves relying on your own wits, strength and abilities. Take the first step towards emergency preparedness today: have a family meeting, tonight, to decide on meeting places and an out-of-state contact (be sure to inform the out-of-state contact that they’ve been designated!). You will be one step closer to emergency preparedness than you were yesterday.
Today marks the 6th anniversary of the loss of our home in the 2007 San Diego County wildfire known as the Witch Fire. There were more than 20 wildfires burning in Southern California for about 20 days in late October and early November of 2007. More than 1,000,000 people were displaced during this crisis. I wrote our “fire story” last year and posted it on this blog starting on October 21st (the day in 2007 that the wildfires started). You may have noticed the “One Year Ago Today” posts currently running on our blog and the fire posts are included. While this series was running last year, Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast leaving a path of unimaginable destruction and displacing thousands.
Over the last several months, Charlie and I had enjoyed tooling around in the back country of San Diego County. While driving these country highways and roads, we’ve noticed a few sobering signs that I’m sharing below.
Here are a couple of useful links to other websites:
Are you ready?
Until Next Time,
(other posts about Emergency Planning)
- 14 Human Needs
- Counting Our Blessings
- Hurricane Sandy
- In the Midnight Hours
- Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
- The Fire Drill
(the 20-part series, Any Way the Wind Blows)
- Any Way the Wind Blows
- The Valley That Time Forgot
- Eye of the Storm
- Too Far From Home
- In the Blink of an Eye
- Between a Rock and a Hard Place
- In a Blue Funk
- Back to Square One
- One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
- Not Me, Why Me, Who Me, It’s Me
- The Whole Kit & Caboodle
- Feathering the Nest
- The Blind Leading the Blind
- Apple Pie Order
- All Hands on Deck
- In the Lap of Luxury
- Much of Muchness
- The Backup Plan
- What’s in Your First Aid Kit?
- Emergency Planning Checklist
(lists of 42 for household inventory purposes)
- 42 Kitchen Basics for Your New Home
- 42 Grilling Supplies and Equipment for Outdoor Cooking
- 42 Cooking Essentials for a Well-stocked Kitchen
- 42 Must Have Kitchen Utensils
- 42 Baking Essentials
- 42 Nice-to-Have Kitchen Supplies and Equipment
- 42 Spices to Have on Hand
- 42 Pantry Essentials
- 42 Refrigerator Essentials
- 42 Freezer Essentials
- 42 Nice-to-Have Kitchen Gadgets
- 42 More Nice-to-Have Kitchen Gadgets
- 42 Even More Kitchen Gadgets