Have you ever had the feeling where you know you’ve gone through something before, and it was scary, but you’re going through it again and you know what to do but you’re still fighting your emotions to keep from panicking? I had that happen to me a few weeks ago. We had a fire just a few blocks from our house. Actually, several fires. The count ended up being 9 fires started in one small area. As I saw the smoke rise in the sky and heard the sirens, I was suddenly brought back to a memory from a few years go.
It was a Saturday morning, and my family decided to go garage-selling. On our way home, we followed a fire truck with lights and sirens on. At first we didn’t think that much of it, except, “Oh I hope everything is ok”.
It turned on our road; we turned. We saw black smoke filling the sky – in our neck of the woods. The fire ended up being about a football field distance away from our house. We rushed home, so scared of what might happen. Slurry bombers flew overhead – so low I could’ve thrown a rock and hit the bottom of it. 😯 We gathered everything we could and literally packed out our cars and camper with everything we thought of. Later on, we realized we had totally forgotten about photo albums and family pictures – thank God our house wasn’t burned down, or we would’ve lost so much of our family history and memories.
Long story short, we were almost evacuated, but they got the fire under control just in time. We were able to unpack everything and resume normal life. We adamantly said we were going to create a list of things to grab if a fire happened again, along with a plan of where things go and what food to take. Let’s just put it this way – those lists never came into being. We always had them in our heads, but we never actually wrote them down.
And then another fire right by us. What do we need to do? Are we going to evacuate? Should we pack? What’s really going on? Am I over-reacting? Am I taking this too lightly? All these thoughts raced through my mind as I walked to my room and peered out my bedroom window at the smoke. I have to say, I did panic a little. One thought stayed in my head the whole time – this is WAY too familiar.
We packed our camper and gathered important forms, medicines, photo albums (thankfully we remembered this time), clothing, toiletries…ect. Pretty much a little bit of everything so we could live on those things for at least a little while. Thankfully, we had a lot more time to prepare than before. My dad and brother came home from work, and we were packed and ready to go in about an hour. Obviously, if the fire was right by us and we were being evacuated, we wouldn’t have had an hour to get ready. However, we did have the time, and we were even able to help out our neighbors.
As we checked scanners and listened to the radio, it was still between the thought that we were over-reacting, or that we might be evacuated. We just figured it was “better to be safe than sorry” and prepared.
We were never evacuated, and thankfully the fires were under control by that night. Still, my dad stayed up that night and most of the early morning hours on fire-watch, just to be sure. It wasn’t all that fun unpacking everything, but better than not having a home to live in. 😉 I’m so thankful God once again saved us from the fire. I think we just live in an area were we will have fires around and close to us, but never actually reach us. I hope I never am proven wrong. 😉 This fire only damaged one structure, and that was only an abandoned mobile home. 😀
We are having lots of fires in the US lately, aren’t we? I feel so sorry and actually kind of sick when I think about the Wallow fire. I just can’t imagine. It ended up burning several hundreds of thousands acres. 😥 Last year we had the Shultz fire here where I live, and that burned 15,000 acres. I thought it was an amazingly huge fire, and so sad….but that’s nothing compared to the Wallow fire. I pray we don’t have any more start.
Do you have a story about surviving a natural disaster? Please share! 😀