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Mt Rider I wish I could pick your brain right now!!

 

We've had a couple of moderate (as of yesterday, one was 500 acres, one was 20,000) sized forest fires burning about 2 hours east of us for the past couple weeks. Our prevailing winds are always NW to SE, so there was no concern for our area.

 

Until yesterday.

 

Yesterday we had a "historic level" windstorm start. It's supposed to last until sometime tomorrow, winds are up to 75mph, and it's blowing from the E. 

 

Those fires went from 85+ miles away to about 10 miles away overnight. Most of the towns between us and the fires have evacuated overnight and we are at level 2. 

 

I packed go bags last night. This morning my girls and I packed more thoroughly and we think we're ready to go when and if they bump us to level 3. 

 

But I sure wish I had your advice on if I forgot anything!! 

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That is too close for comfort! Glad you are prepared to leave though. I've never lived in a fire zone so the best I can offer is prayers. Stay safe and keep us updated on your situation. 

 

:pray:    :hug3:    :pray: 

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#1  WILDFIRE PREPARATION 2020

 

Been having weather here too.  :sassing:   But not EVAC....especially not with SNOW!

 

Babysteps, I recently redid my Wildfire EVAC LIST so here are some ideas:

 

1)  Top priority bar none:  Get Human Beings OUT!  Make sure local Fire Dept or Rescue knows of any neighbor [disabled, elderly, no working vehicle] that will need transportation out.

 

2)  My next priority is ANIMALS....  More and more the shelters are making accommodations for animals.  Fairgrounds in rural areas are taking in large/medium livestock and poultry.  Many Humane Societies have gotten their act together to put Fire EVAC into a separate category and will shelter your pet without hassle.  [I have a story on that one] 

 

 

If you're not RUNNING out the door with your hair on fire.....metaphorically speaking, I'll be listing things in the ORDER of Most Importance IN MY OPINION.  YMMV.

 

 

ANIMALS: They need Identification attached or written on them!

--make SURE you have animal records:  ownership (if you have it). Immunization records!!!  

--keep a current picture of your animal(s) in your BOB or purse or whatever.  In case of getting separated [have story for that]  AND would help you establish ownership. 

--Collar/harness/leash

--Medications ...Vet's name/phone #

--TREATS!!!  BRIBE good behavior if they're nervous!!  [same with children or cranky, confused elderly]

--Carrier.  Crate/kennel. 

Calming toy/blankie.  Food/dish...water/dish.  {water...might not LIKE a different taste in water.  Don't worry about this if you're out of time}  We have a dog BOB in my vehicle but those things are new to her and she likes her USUAL things!   

 

CHILDREN....Identification.  You can make an I.D. bracelet for each child....and yourselves?   From a folded strip of tape [duct tape?]  Or just an index card on a string around their neck but tuck inside their shirt?  Or..other?

--Their name if young but don't make that obvious - remember predators might be lurking. 

--Your name, if they're young. 

--Your cell numbers. 

--An out of the area/out of the state Contact who knows you're using their name/number. 

--Any health/disablilty issue immediately relevant like Diabetes, Seizure, Autism, etc.

--Doctor's name/office/number

--........anything else?

 

 

3) Priority: 

--N95 masks for wearing if you might go thru smoke.  Wear them!  Smoke is not good in lungs and other organs, actually.  If you don't have them [not many do now] then layers of other tight masks for everyone.  Not merely the surgical ones.  Layers of thick cotton.  MAKE SURE YOU'RE GETTING ENOUGH O2 THO...  Tie several large cloth squares like bandanas around nose/mouth.  Tuck up the tail under the chin so it doesn't leak.

 

--after Babysteps' comments about eyes stinging - swim goggles, workshop goggles, shooting glasses might help a bit.  {MtR is wondering if the shop goggles are still in BOB??}

 

--any Immediately important MEDICATIONS, prescription or reader glasses/sunglasses, hearing aid/batteries, other adaptive devices that are immediately needed.  [me, canes/wheelchair/cool packs for TOO HOT, etc]

If you get stuck in EVAC traffic...and need any prescription or OTC meds..have them in a special place  like your "purse", bright colored bag...   Near to hand - not under the rest of the STUFF!

 

--WATER ....lots.  {stuck in EVAC traffic and if it's hot enough for a wildfire, you and yours need to be drinking water in this higher anxiety state.} 

--Energy bars  {it was the only thing I could choke down....and did so whenever my system would accept food}

 

--Spare set of keys...vehicle, house, storage unit, place of business or your work...

--Cash, precious metals, jewelry

--purse/wallet/whatever holds YOUR I.D. Credit Cards, ANY special paperwork that verifies who you are and what you are licensed to do.  Marriage license, Divorce decree, legal agreement for child custody.

--Deed to house, titles to cars, boats, etc.  Ownership or Rental Agreements

--Medical information:  Your records - electronically or paper.  Phone numbers to doc, dentist, chiro, etc. 

 

A lot of folks have that data on cell phones now.  I'd keep a copy of the most important and UPDATED addresses/phone numbers like family, employment, extended family, local neighbors, medical/dental #s, lawyer, property owner if rental, etc on a paper in your purse/BOB.  CUZ IF YA LOSE YOUR PHONE IN THE CONFUSION.....OR DROP/BREAK IT....  Just sayin'.

 

If this was ALL you had grabbed, you could restart your life. 

 

I'm going to post this and then continue....if you have MORE TIME...

 

MtRider   :pray: you and yours do NOT have to EVAC! 

 

Edited by Mt_Rider
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DH is commiserating ...remembering how brutal wind shifts can be!    :(

 

#2  WILDFIRE PREPARATION 2020

 

For us, we gather our "protection devices" ...but not ammo if you'd have to drive thru fire.  Have them in proper cases, if available!  Make Sure to have your proper paperwork for these items!!! 

A lot of theft happens during disasters, the vile people come out for the opportunity.  

 

Dress For Success:

If you can.....NON-SYNTHETIC MATERIALS...they don't melt onto your skin [if you'd be getting too near fire.  [don't mean to scare you but....]  :hug3:  

 

Long pants are protection but might be too hot.  Same with tops....but bring a protective jacket with hood or a hat to protect hair from flying embers if your EVAC was hurried.  Bind up long hair.  Leather work gloves if you have them.  Leather boots/shoes if you have them.  Laced or buckled ...if you have to run/walk.  Wool sox are best, like in hiking. 

 

Praying you don't need this stuff...EVAC can be calm.  But... 


MtRider.....saving this and continuing....

Edited by Mt_Rider
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#3  WILDFIRE PREPARATION 2020

 

In no particular order now:

--binoculars ...to see WHAT is going on with this EVAC traffic... etc.

--headlamps, flashlights.....especially if you must EVAC at night :pray: 

--all your spare batteries

--all your electronics ...phones, Kindle, laptops, and as Annarchy said: Thumb drives maybe in a separate place in case some are lost/broken/stolen.  And she mentioned: CHARGING CORDS!  {we missed that one....got left in the chair as we left}

 

Can you tell I'm into BACKUPS?

 

--bring ALL your undies and sox. 

 

EVAC is USUALLY from 3 hours to 3 days.   <_<   Ours was 3 WEEKS.  That's unusual.  However, we barely had any time for going to a laundry or shopping Walmart for more.  [we had horses, dogs, cats, poultry and DH's chiro office and packing up my parents..]  EVAC can be VERY busy or very boring. 

 

--lots of pants/short, tops

--different footwear

 

WILDFIRES CAN CHANGE WEATHER

--cooler and warmer clothing options...wet and dry options

 

Beyond immediate medications....

--First Aid kit to handle small boo boos yourself anytime/anywhere.

--any braces and wraps [DH fell; tore out knee on day 3 of our EVAC.]  If you have a repeating injury...often sprain wrist or knee...BRING THE BRACE! 

--spare pair of glasses, etc

 

--Journals and other Things To Do for you and yours....games, books, Bible, etc. 

--physical calendar or planning papers?  Some of us don't use electronic.

--Snacks

--More water

 

--A radio for finding information maybe

--2-way radios for keeping track of others in your group if out of cell tower range?

 

--other food/snacks from fridge/cupboard.  Bring cooler if you have room.  Cool snacks while waiting in EVAC lines would be welcome.  LOTS OF ICE/FROZEN THINGS if you have to keep insulin or something cool.  Or for me, I get OVERHEATED very easily.....stress overheats anyone. 

 

ADVANCED TIP:  IF you have room, you might want to empty fridge...perhaps freezer.  We didn't entirely but were fortunate to have kept electricity on for 3 wks.  Putting a coin on top of an ice cube in freezer will tell you if the freezer has been off for any amount of time.  OR check your icecream?  It will look different if freezer temps got too low for safety of frozen foods.

 

MtRider ....more coming...gotta call my mom

Edited by Mt_Rider
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We do have all important papers, laptop/phones and chargers, photo albums, etc. The sheep and cows we moved to a friend's place well out of the way, the dog, cats and rabbits are with us. I managed to remember everything for the critters except a litter box for the cats. Figures. 

 

I'm discovering that figuring out where "emergency" and "regular life" intersect is trickier than I would have thought. My location is still at level 2, the fire has been held at about 8-10 miles from my house for a full 36 hours now (although we're due for another wind shift now that the storm is dying down, so who knows what tomorrow is going to look like) and I'm very thankful!! But I had to figure out whether to go to work this morning. 🙄 Because my company wasn't planning on closing the office and we have a small staff these days, and they **needed** me. 

 

We opted to go ahead and get out before they made it official, and I'm glad we did, but I'm an hour away from home now, with stressed out kids and critters, and my boss wants me in to work because I'm not ACTUALLY evacuated???

 

(I did tell her no, lol. But seriously. Of all the nerve.)

 

The smoke and ash... you aren't kidding about not breathing it. And I had no idea before about how it makes everything so dark, so sunglasses aren't an option to keep it out of your eyes, and it STINGS. 

 

Also Mt Rider, I gotta say a HUGE thank you. I've never been in any sort of evac before, but hubby came home from work to help yesterday morning as we were loading the last bag and he was shocked at how thorough and quick I had been. You know what did it? Your Without Warning scenarios. I've gone through so many what ifs in my head because of them that I had a fairly good idea of what we should take and what we could leave. 

 

Thank you SO MUCH for them. They made such a difference in how calm I was and how organized I managed to be, even without these lists - which I'm going to print up when we get home!! 

 

Also also, everyone, please pray for us out here on the West Coast. There are SO many fires. My aunt and uncle 2 hours away on the coast evacuated today. My parents 3 hours away to the south had to evacuate yesterday and there's a good chance their home is gone - they don't know yet. The fires are everywhere and they are so bad.

 

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So glad you're evacuated already.  Waiting is awful...esp with kids/pets/livestock!!!!!   We had someone move our horses out early too in that long ago fire.  Cuz we had a 'ride' for them available.  Then we chased them to several locations thru the looong EVAC we had.  Most people say sure they can stay....and then want them gone after 3 days.  :buttercup:  Now people know better about these mega-fires. 

 

Are you on the status where you could go back for something important if you remembered?  'Course you never want to put yourself at risk.  Not. Worth. It!  But I'll add more if it helps you or someone else. 

 

I love it that the Without Warning scenarios have helped you to be ready.  Mentally/physically.  I began these at Stephanie's request so long ago.  I'd done one scenario, I think.  She asked if I could do more.....and so the Without Warnings began.  But this has always been how I've prepared myself.  Heaven knows I've been in enough IN REAL LIFE scenarios to warrant the study of What To Do! 

 

:blink:   Y'know....I've never done a Wildfire EVAC Without Warning.  :blink:   I don't think I could!  :blink:  I'll just give LISTS AND IDEAS AND PRECAUTIONS!!!  

 

You all caught part of the Jet Stream that brought the arctic air/snow down upon us.  You got the WIND.   :(  The snow was great for our fire danger.  Very soggy.  Doesn't put any big fires out....but it raises the humidity and lowers the temperature.  Arid and HOT greatly work against the fire fighters so changing that gives them a chance to dig in their fire breaks. 

 

Praying for the fire crews everywhere!!!  And for all the evacuees and those who wait......  And for those who are making the decisions that are life and death to so many.  And that God sends miracles and fire suppressing weather... 

 

Stay safe, Babysteps!  EVAC is very straining and only those who've experienced it know just how and how MUCH it is a strain.  ....hmph, COVID is nuthin' after EVAC.  ;)

 

MtRider  :pray:   keep us informed...others will learn from you too! 

Edited by Mt_Rider
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#4  WILDFIRE PREPARATION 2020

 

Of course what I didn't mention as a category was VALUABLES.  These are things you try to grab but only if it doesn't endanger you.  That's the RULE for all of it, actually.  If all you can grab is the keys and kids....then GO GO GO!  Cuz ....really....you CAN live on after losing any of these things.  Leaving even 3 minutes late..... DON'T!  We've had deaths in our community....found later in their car/in their garage...just maybe 3 minutes too late though.  More than once that happened.  :( 

 

But it's nice if you CAN bring valuables out when you've been given the luxury of TIME to EVAC.  Everyone should spend some time thinking before an EVAC is possible....what things would you MOST regret losing forever?  Write it down cuz DH might be home and not know what I'd most want, y'know?

 

1)  Things that would be impossible to replace.... photos, family mementos, Grpa's whatsit and Grma's patchwork quilt, baby things, original artwork [even if it's by your 10 year old], Christmas decorations with special meaning, ...

 

 

2)  Things that would be expensive to replace...... electronics, jewelry, even bigger stuff if you have time and a way to move/store stuff.  I've seen people rent a UHaul and store a LOT of stuff elsewhere.  Anyone would have to ask:  DO you have the time/energy/money for that kind of precaution? 

 

ALSO, IF YOU HAVE TIME, take photos or a walking video tour of your home...inside and out.  For insurance purposes.  If you keep a file of major purchases like appliances, etc....bring that file out with you...even if you don't bring your washing machine... ;) 

 

We took all our storage food [buckets/cases of #10 cans] and some other stuff over to DH's office during one Pre-EVAC.  And hauled it back when the fire was out.  Waste of energy....nope.  We could and we did haul in our small horse trailer.  We were about to DROP from the physical exertion of it.  And then to haul it all back when that whole fire season was finally over.  Would we do that again....?  :0327:  I'm not sure.  That was about a decade ago.  Age matters.  And....he doesn't have an office now.  :shrug:   But we count food storage as one of our valuables-expensive-to-replace.

 

3)  Difficult to Replace.  A strange tool that fits your hand and you'd never find it's like anywhere.  That sort of thing that you'd miss.  If you lost things in this category, you'd go on.  But part of salvaging things ahead of time IF YOU HAVE THE TIME AND MEANS TO MOVE STUFF ....is to make recovery after a wildfire devastating loss a bit easier.  When you can say daily: I'm so glad I didn't lose this or that! 

 

 

 

MAKE YOUR LISTS.....cuz honestly, I found myself LITERALLY SPINNING IN CIRCLES, trying to go in 3 directions at once.  Never knew that phrase was literal...it is.   I mentally yelled STOP!  ANY direction is ok if you can't decide which is more important.  LOL  I was mostly calm but I did lose it in that moment.  That was the First EVAC. 

 

...next category:  Precautions at your house when you EVAC.  [like moving brush away from house...ect]  I'm going to tackle that tomorrow.  ANYONE can chime in here.  Add ideas or experiences you've had. 

 

MtRider   :pray:  :offtobed:   sheesh, talked to my mom til 1:30am tonite! 

Edited by Mt_Rider
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Praying for you Babysteps.  :pray:

 

As I said I don't know anything about being in a wild fire situation but you mentioned sunglasses, for eye protection, not working well in a dark area. Would clear swimming goggles/mask work? Especially for children. They fit snugly around the eyes. Might be an item to have on hand just in case.  :shrug:

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Not specific to wildfires, but this might be a good place to look in the future: http://theplacewithnoname.com/blogs/klessons/p/map.html

 

He focuses on the importance of having your documents together - they lost everything in Hurricane Katrina, and he talks about how there were plenty of jobs available in his field...but he didn't have any proof of his certifications or anything with him.  Fair warning, there is some cussing involved.  I've read through his stuff several times, and need to actually put all the materials together at some point.

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The fire that was 500 acres on Sunday? 

 

It's now nearly 160,000 acres and is the largest fire in Oregon. 

 

It's also 0% contained and is only 8.7 miles from my house. 

 

But! The windstorm is over, the winds are coming back to their normal level and direction (away from populated areas!) and there's even a little rain in next week's forecast.

 

And they've lowered my evacuation alert to level 1, so we're thinking of going back to the house and kinda living out of suitcases to stay ready to go if need be.

 

 

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LOL...just saw Jeepers suggestion of swim goggles after I added it to my first list.  :thumbs:   Also workshop goggles will work somewhat - has vents for steamy moisture as you run around in hot conditions.  New aspect to discuss.  We did EVAC during heavy smoke but it was daytime.  And we also went out early...not waiting {for permission?...sad story about THAT}

 

#5  WILDFIRE PREPARATION 2020

 

If you might be in EVAC after smoke is in your area.  Applies to daytime as well as a nighttime EVAC. 

 

---Everyone wear headlamps turned on [low].   I always write "3 AAAs"  {or whatever the device requires} on the outside of the headlamp.  Each person carry extra batteries for a change-out and KNOW how to open/put in new!  It can be trickier than it needs to be.   :tapfoot:  

--For children especially, alternative is to wear those crack-to-activate glow sticks.  12 hr glow time.  If it's smoky while packing, make sure they have them.  Crack or turn on your "locator lights" when smoke is thick. 

--There are smaller versions like bracelets, etc that could be attached to dog/cat collars. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Ultra-Bright-Glow-Sticks-Earthquake/dp/B01GTU597I

 

These below are bracelets....add to cat/dog collar ....for children to play with but keep one attached to their shirt?

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000IZ9N78/ref=sspa_dk_detail_2?psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFEWThJTDhVSlRVTjAmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA2NjkwOTZDTUhMUTFPTFRMR0wmZW5jcnlwdGVkQWRJZD1BMDYwMjUyNDFOQ1dUMDRQTjFDTlcmd2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9kZXRhaWwyJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

 

---MAKE SURE TO DRIVE IN SMOKE WITH HEADLIGHTS ON!

--I've read Wildfire EVAC stories where a set of heavy bolt cutters might have made a life/death difference ....allowing emergency access to otherwise inaccessible routes.  BUT make sure you absolutely know where the winding route takes you...and where the fire is!  MOST OF THE TIME, it's best to just follow the directions of officials...if they are there.  What's really needed is pre-planning of various alternate routes in all directions.  But once you're in the wildfire EVAC, that option has expired. 

 

--I've just added UPDATED Paper Road Maps to the first LIST above.  

........COUNTY maps

........NEIGHBORHOOD/RURAL SUBDIVISION maps 

........FOREST SERVICE ROAD maps!!! Speaking of alternatives...  KNOW that those roads are sometimes barely passable with 4-wheel.  NOT your first choice! 

.......STATE/HIGHWAY maps if you need or plan to really EVAC a distance to relatives/BOL

 

AND you should have already driven all alternate routes to make sure you know what you're getting into ESPECIALLY Forest Service rutted roads paths.  Some are just fine.....UNTIL THEY AREN'T!  AND....there are only tiny markers with numbers on the Forest Service Roads...no clue if you don't have their maps.  [story there too, of course...not an EVAC but my visiting brother's bright idea for touring,  ....running VERY close on gas!  TWICE, in fact.  Once with a major winter storm coming up behind us...I carry BOB when I ride with him!]

 

--speaking of gas......fill your tanks but it's super dangerous to carry any extra fuel with you in wildfire EVAC.   And if you're in line on the roads/highways (think: hurricane evac)...you might waste gas sitting/waiting.  Shut off car when you can to save gas, of course.  But during wildfire EVAC, unless I was getting out way ahead, I wouldn't transport any fuel.  I think we stored our gas cans near the pond at our house when we left.  Along with our household trash...don't want to come home to stink.

 

--Spare tire [or 2] and equipment sized to change it!  In our first fire, I helped my dad laboriously load the entire back of his pickup, under the topper.  [it's now my truck]  THEN we noted that he keeps his spare tire and tools in the very FRONT of the truck bed. AACK!  We both stood there, envisioning a flat in the middle of the highway evacuation....and began unloading to move the tire/tools right near the tailgate!!   

 

[see....I've got a story for nearly everything...cuz we've had it all go WRONG!]  :shrug:  

 

MtRider  ...a good review for me too.  The benefit of this snow will only last a week or so...EVAC is always a potential here.  :sigh: 

Edited by Mt_Rider
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3 minutes ago, babysteps said:

And they've lowered my evacuation alert to level 1, so we're thinking of going back to the house and kinda living out of suitcases to stay ready to go if need be.

 

:amen:  :amen:  

 

Yes, it's stressful to be out on EVAC.  And usually expensive if you don't have a place to stay.  Can your livestock stay where they are until this monster is really a non-issue?  Staying ready to go is imperative....but doable.  Do your kids have school?  Distance learning?  Hate to grab them from school...and you at work if it flares up. 

 

:sigh:   The fires, as you well know, can travel that 8 miles in a terrifyingly short time.  So it's a very hard choice.  Depends too about any natural firebreaks [highways, roads, waterways, rocky areas, etc] between you and the fire. 

 

:pray:   God, help them make the wise choice for their situation!

 

Park your vehicles heading out....  Keep some stuff in the vehicles.  Don't let the cats roam....do they come if you open a can of food or special treat? 

 

Trying to think of all the things that give you a chance to run again quickly.....and praying you won't need to!!!!!!!  :hug3: 

 

MtRider  :pray: 

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You can use this time at home....if you decide to return....to prep your house/property.  It was going to be my next topic anyway.  ALL of this is done IF you have the time.

 

#6  WILDFIRE PREPARATION 2020

 

HOUSE and PROPERTY

---Bring insurance agent's name/number

---WINDOWS:  I've heard of covering windows with something that won't spontaneously burst into flames. This site has studies on window frames but isn't what I'm looking forGENERALLY - move flammable things back away from windows including curtains!

https://surviving-wildfire.extension.org/window-failure-during-wildfires/

 

--VENTS:  block all vents leading from outside to inside house.  Like to attic or basement.  Often it's merely sparks that are blown in that set the house on fire.

 

---ROOF   Since the modern era of the mega fires [tho there have been other eras long, long ago too] builders/home buyers are looking for non-flammable roof materials:  cement or clay tiles, metal, etc.  Asphalt shingles are out of style but...are still seen all over including my home.    Also out is the often-required shake shingles...but those same HOAs are now banning them.  Too many cute, western-rustic cluster of homes have turned easily to ash with those shingles.  Even with a fire-retardant...they just aren't a good idea.  :sigh:

 

==============-============

 

 

OH YAY!  ...this site has  BEFORE. DURING. AFTER. Safety Tips.  I'm going to copy paste some cuz this is what I was going to post here anyway:) 

 

https://blog.cinfin.com/2019/10/29/wildfire-safety-tips/

 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=QUOTE=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

DURING THE TIME A WILDFIRE IS IN YOUR AREA
  • Stay aware of the latest news and updates from your local media and fire department. Get your family prepared to evacuate.
  • Make sure all cell phones and portable chargers are fully charged
  • Download apps to stay informed: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), American Red Cross, Cal Fire Ready for Wildfire
  • Access or check social media – many fire agencies put updates about evacuation areas and road closures on Facebook and Twitter  [my addition:  get out your maps and locate exactly WHERE everyone is talking about.]
  • Locate your pets and keep them nearby
  • Place your emergency supply kit and other valuables in your vehicle
  • While preparing to evacuate, back your vehicle into the driveway with the doors and windows closed. [me again: to prevent sparks from entering if there is sparks, get out!]  Carry the vehicle key with you
  • Cover up to protect yourself from heat, smoke and embers. Wear long pants and boots; cover your face
  • Move patio or deck furniture, cushions, door mats and potted plants held in wooden containers either indoors or as far away from the home, shed and garage as possible
  • Remove log piles, paint, building materials and other combustibles 30 feet from structures
  • Shut all windows and doors
  • Remove flammable window shades, lightweight curtains or flammable draperies
  • Move flammable furniture away from windows and doors
  • Close and protect your home’s openings, including attic and basement doors and vents, windows, garage doors and pet doors to prevent embers from penetrating your home
  • Shut off gas at the meter; turn off pilot lights  [my opinion - this is a choice you'd make if you're sure you'll be out....cuz a professional has to turn this stuff back on, I think.  ]
  • Move propane grill and tank at least 30 feet from all structures; turn off propane tanks
  • Shut off air conditioning
  • Place ladders near home for firefighters to use to access roof
  • Connect garden hoses and fill any pools, hot tubs, garbage cans, tubs or other large containers with water
  • Shut off sprinklers, water features or other water-users to help maintain critical water pressure in the area
  • Leave as quickly as possible. If you know fire is approaching, do not wait to be told to evacuate. Do not linger after evacuation orders have been given. Promptly leaving your home and neighborhood clears roads for firefighters to get equipment in place to fight the fire and helps ensure residents’ safety
  • Leave exterior lights on, so your home is visible to firefighters
  • Leave property gates open to allow emergency personnel to respond and defend your property
  • Check with neighbors and encourage them to leave as soon as possible

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=ENDING QUOTES =-=-=-=-=BOLD IS MINE-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

 

 I can verify that this is standard stuff we've always heard.  This is what I would have had to pull out of memory....this is a good list!  :thumbs: 

 

MtRider  ...IF you return, Babysteps...this is your next list.  But don't go back JUST to do some of these things!  :hug3:  

Edited by Mt_Rider
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Babysteps,  You and my granddaughter that lives in CA are in my prayers. :pray:.  My granddaughter is in a bit safer area but still the wind shifts can change all of that. She is packed and ready to leave. She has been in process of putting a sprinkler system on house and a solar system for pool that will flood the yard as well. That might be something you could think about doing at a later date. 

I have never been in an evac. situation before but all that was said above is great advice and I will be following that for hurricanes. Though we have never had to evac. for one yet, there is always that first time. So go to have this info for getting things together.

 

Mt. Rider and Jeepers, you guys have really done your homework on this. Great info for everyone to follow.

 

Babysteps,  you and your family stay safe.  :hug3:

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Announcing that I  ADDED THIS TO THE POST OF FIRST THINGS TO GRAB AND RUN above these posts.  It's #1 up there.

 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

CHILDREN....Identification.  You can make an I.D. bracelet for each child....and yourselves?   From a folded strip of tape [duct tape?]  Or just an index card on a string around their neck but tuck down the shirt?  Or..other?

 

--Their name if young but don't make that obvious - remember predators might be lurking. 

--Your name, if they're young.   

--Your cell numbers. 

--An out of the area/out of the state Contact who knows you're using their name/number. 

--Any health/disablilty issue immediately relevant like Diabetes, Seizure, Autism, etc.

--Doctor's name/office/number

--........anything else?

 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

 

Make sure you DO have an out of state or out of area designated CONTACT....IN CASE ANY OF YOU GET SEPARATED ....your immediate area might lose cell towers and some area are great for cell connection anyway. 

 

MtRider  ....we should have reviewed this a couple months ago.  Better late than never. 

 

Edited by Mt_Rider
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#7  WILDFIRE PREPARATION 2020

 

Same site as I copied above...further tips!

https://blog.cinfin.com/2019/10/29/wildfire-safety-tips/

 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=QUOTING-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=

IF YOU BECOME TRAPPED WHILE TRYING TO EVACUATE

If you’re on foot:

  • Use cell phone to call for help – 911
  • Go to an area clear of vegetation, a ditch or depression on level ground  [OR WATER IF YOU CAN FIND IT]
  • Watch for obstructions that may cause you to trip or bump your head
  • Watch for downed powerlines and do not touch
  • Lie face down and cover up your entire body
  • If you do not have clothing to cover your body, cover yourself with dirt

If you’re inside your home:

  • Call 911 and advise of your location
  • Keep your family and pets together
  • Fill sinks and tubs with cold water
  • Keep doors and windows closed, but unlocked
  • Stay inside
  • Stay away from outside walls and windows

If you’re inside your car:

  • Use your cell phone to advise officials of your location – call 911
  • Park your vehicle in an area clear of vegetation, on a gravel or dirt road
  • Close all vehicle windows and vents
  • Cover yourself with wool blanket or jacket
  • Leave the engine running and get as low in the vehicle as possible, below the windows, to help shield yourself from the radiant heat as the flames approach
  • Remain calm, and do not exit the vehicle until the wall of fire has passed 

-==-=-=-=-==-=-=-=[RED IS MINE]-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-END QUOTING=-==-=-=-=-=-=-=-

 

 

Let me comment on this horrific possibility.  True story during one of our big fires.  My married friends are with county Fire/Rescue.  They had run the old, cranky water truck out to an assigned position.  Suddenly a panicked voice yelled into their radios:  Get OUT OF THERE...GO NOW QUICK...YOU'RE IN THE PATH AND IT'S MOVING LIKE A TRAIN!   Well, "old and cranky" truck did not start.  Radio keeps yelling...ARE YOU OUT...DID YOU MOVE?  THIS MONSTER IS ROARING DOWN ON YOUR POSITION NOW...GET OUT! 

 

{Whew....I have to take a breath or two just retelling this story....seriously shaking...}

 

FINALLY, M and C chose to leave Old/Cranky water truck and RUN ON FOOT.  But....being OCD  and overly responsible, they were grabbing GEAR while the panicked dispatch is roaring GET OUTTA THERE NOW...IT'S COMING....IT'S COMING!!!  They loaded up and RAN FOR THEIR LIVES.    Fortunately they had been told which direction to run.  They actually DID run out of the line of fire approaching.  Thankfully!   And I do NOT recommend their choice to waste time grabbing STUFF!  :grinning-smiley-044:

 

------Understand this was the FIRST DAY of what became that monster wildfire....so it wasn't so big. ------

 

HERE IS MY REAL POINT.....   At that time, this fire was running SO fast that after they returned to check the water truck, it was fine.  When a fire is running THAT FAST....it blew right over the truck without harming it.  Oh believe me, it was SUPER HOT going over it!  But honestly, THEN the old/cranky thing started and they were able to reposition.  [that vehicle was later replaced with Federal funding made available later]

 

If anyone was ever trapped and HAD to wait...there is hope.  Especially if the wildfire is running FAST.  IT IS NEVER GOING TO BE A GREAT OPTION - BUT THERE IS HOPE. 

 

Take many deep breaths for filling up with oxygen BEFORE it blows over you.  THEN hold your breath if you can-filter any air you must breath thru many layers of clothes or something.   It may temporarily suck up the O2 as it passes.  DON'T PANIC.  TRY NOT TO EVER BE IN THIS POSITION AND FOR PETE'S SAKE LEAVE STUFF AND GET OUT!

 

Continue to stay calm and do whatever you can to stay alive as suggested in this article. 

 

MtRider  ....sheesh, reliving these stories is still kinda rough.  But if it helps to give someone hope and not panic...  :pray: 

Edited by Mt_Rider
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#8  WILDFIRE PREPARATION 2020

 

More from the same site above.  Some data will be for if fire went thru your home and/or property....or your neighborhood.  Some of it applies even if the fire missed your area.

 

https://blog.cinfin.com/2019/10/29/wildfire-safety-tips/

 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=QUOTING-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-==-=-=

 

RETURNING HOME AFTER A WILDFIRE
  • Wait until evacuation orders are lifted and fire officials determine it is safe to return home
  • Wear leather boots, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt to protect yourself from hot spots or broken glass
  • Wear a mask if smoke and ash are present
  • Be alert for downed power lines
  • Check the outside area around your home and on your property carefully for hidden embers or smoldering fires, unstable charred trees, ash pits or holes created by burned vegetation
  • Check roof, gutters, porch and patios for embers or smoldering debris and extinguish any signs of them
  • Check for the smell of gas immediately upon entering home. If you smell gas, leave the structure and turn off the tank or outside valve if you didn’t turn it off prior to evacuating
  • Check electrical power. If there is power, keep it off until you’ve completed your inspection. If there is no power, report it to utility provider
  • Turn off all appliances and make sure the electric meter is not damaged before turning on the main circuit breaker
  • Check the well or pump-house to ensure it is in working order
  • Check roof and floors for structural safety
  • Check propane tanks, regulators and lines for damage before turning gas on
  • Inspect chimneys, flue pipes and vent connectors for damage, blockage or debris
  • Check for embers or smoke in attic or crawl space
  • Look for ashes or broken glass inside the home
  • Be aware that animals or wildlife may have taken shelter in your home, garage or outbuildings. Leave a door open to allow them to exit on their own. If an animal is injured or unwilling to leave, contact animal control
  • If your home or contents have damage, do not start to clean or throw anything away until you’ve contacted your insurance agent or carrier. Ask them what to do about broken windows, interior damage or any actions that need to be taken immediately to secure the home
  • Take pictures or a video to document damage to your structures or your belongings
  • Throw away the following items if they may have been exposed to fumes, water or chemicals:
    • Fresh food such as produce, dairy, meat, fish and eggs
    • Open containers and packages
    • Containers with peel-off tops or with cork-lined, waxed cardboard or paraffin (waxed) seals
    • Food in cardboard boxes or wrapped in paper, foil, plastic, cellophane or cloth
    • Items in canisters such as flour, sugar, spices, seasonings and extracts
    • Stored raw foods such as potatoes, apples and onions

 

This "loss control" information is advisory only. The author assumes no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this article. Contact your local, independent insurance agent for coverage advice and policy service.

 

---=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-END QUOTING =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

 

Yeah, this is good data. 

 

MtRider  ....  :pray: 

 
Edited by Mt_Rider
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#9  WILDFIRE PREPARATION 2020

 

JUST A TIP:  I might just add that while you are out on EVAC....and your vehicle(s) are obviously loaded up with your supplies and valuables....KEEP A VERY CLOSE WATCH on your vehicles.  Sick opportunists abound and THEFT of the evacuees vehicles is well known.  Yes, the very thought of that is offensive to decent folks.  But these are not folks with decent moral code. 

 

  ...be VERY aware of opportunists of all sorts during the chaos of EVAC

 

....be also very aware of the multitudes of very KIND acts performed by complete strangers for the comfort of the evacuees and their children/animals.  This also brings back high emotion for me.  I should tell you some of these tales sometime.  So many would do so much to help us!!!  :wub: 

 

MtRider  ....praying we've done our quota of EVAC  ...but then, recent years, even tropical Maui has seen wildfire!  :pray: 

 

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1 hour ago, Mt_Rider said:

#9  WILDFIRE PREPARATION 2020

 

JUST A TIP:  I might just add that while you are out on EVAC....and your vehicle(s) are obviously loaded up with your supplies and valuables....KEEP A VERY CLOSE WATCH on your vehicles.  Sick opportunists abound and THEFT of the evacuees vehicles is well known.  Yes, the very thought of that is offensive to decent folks.  But these are not folks with decent moral code. 

 

  ...be VERY aware of opportunists of all sorts during the chaos of EVAC

 

Yeah.

 

We've had at least a dozen arrests in the past three days of people looting homes of evacuees. 

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Our area is still at lvl 1, so we came home. We are keeping everything as close to packed and ready as we can. I saw how fast the fire moved on Monday. Even with the winds so much quieter, that fire is huge now.

 

The prediction of rain next week has been changed to lightning. Because THAT'S what we need right now. :gaah:

 

The dog, the cats, and the 7 year old are much happier to be home! The rest of us are too but the older ones are more aware of the risks. We have left the livestock at their evac location for now.

 

I grabbed an extra litter box and tucked it into the truck, lol!! 

 

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Believe me, I know what this feels like.  :(   In our big EVAC, DH went home first and I stayed out with the horses/cats/dogs.  Adult geese/ducks were never evaced but had the big pond if the gases didn't get them.  They were glad to see us!!  Baby ducks were in a "foster" home....wonderful people who said they'd do anything to help ease our strain.  We did not even know these folks, bless them and all the others like them!! 

 

After another week or so, we were allowed to bring large animals back into our area....if we had a plan for quick EVAC again.  That's when I got back.  Fortunately, I was staying with our former next-door neighbor/friend.  We got on very well and my animals were stashed all over her property. 

 

Being back tho, is VERY uncomfortable....always looking around for additional smoke locations.  At least when you aren't actually inundated with smoke.  Depends on wind direction.  Always watching the weather and fire update sites like they're your new best friends.  

 

The worst was the discombobulated feeling; like half your brain was missing.  Don't know if you were 'out' long enough for that, but such disorientation.  An older neighbor stopped by to talk...and hesitantly suggested that she'd lost her mind!  LOL  "No," I told her.  "We're all like that, hon!  It's going to take a while for "normal functioning" to slide back into place.  So be careful of others in the same shape out on our roads!" 

 

Whoooooo, it sure did take a while.  Felt like a scatter-brained idiot for a couple weeks!  Make no mistake:  EVAC is THAT MUCH of a STRAIN!!!   It takes a toll so ....just in case you all feel somewhat scrambled - know it's normal and temporary.

 

Praying that you do NOT have to 'go out' again.  With wind shifted back to your usual direction, hopefully the fire will be turned back onto itself.  VERY good to leave large livestock out of the picture for a while....glad you have that option.  :amen: 

 

MtRider   :pray: 

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Here, houses have been saved by people setting sprinklers on the roofs and leaving them turned on.  Or so I hear.  Haven't seen one myself.  I have read the instructions to do that in the newspaper, but who knows what it's based on?  

The news has a story of a man seeing a woman in the road with all but her underwear burned off, barefoot, with her mouth all black.  He got her into his car, explaining to her he had to go find his wife.  She finally got out that she was his wife.  Moral--if you have to travel, wear good, heavy shoes, layers of clothes, and a wool scarf over your face.   

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The sprinkler on roof .....especially these Colorado cute [terribly flammable] shake shingles.....does work for preventing flying embers.  HOWEVER the folks fighting the fires using municipal water lines from hydrants are begging people not to bring down the water pressure they are using.  

 

I guess it would depend if you're on a well and if it would burn out your well motor?  But...less expensive than a new house?  If the fire wasn't that close, it might indeed save the house.  THIS is the situation where some choose to stay at the house....to be able to put out the flying embers.  Sometimes that works if the fire does not overrun that location.  .....sometimes it overruns that location and the person has no way out by that time. 

 

MtRider  :pray: 

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