Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Wildfires in California have caused about 300,000 people to evacuate and 1000 homes have been lost thus far. When I read the headlines online last night I called my mom and found out that she and my stepdad who live in Falbrook, an hour north of San Diego, had been evacuated. She is staying with a friend who lives about an hour from her. My stepdad was to meet her there last night. He had stayed to help a neighbor leave, pack up his important papers and his music equipment and water his roof.

They had got a call from the sheriff yesterday morning asking the whole town to evacuate, but by the afternoon the sheriff actually drove up their small road in the hills to tell them to go. By the time he left the fires had jumped the I-15 interstate and the other road South, and were closed. People were being told that they could go through the military base in convoys but the traffic had come to a stop miles before that so he went to my Uncle's house who also lives in Falbrook-- but farther from the danger. So they are both safe at the moment, though separated.

The winds are up to 108 miles an hour and carry embers that can easily drop on a roof and immediately set it in flames, and temperatures are supposed to be 100 degrees today. They are hoping that theirs will be one of the houses not touched when this is over.

It is interesting to note that the bishop of their ward (congregation) called the whole ward on Saturday (before the fires) and asked them each to practice an evacuation drill, and treat the situation as if there were a real fire. After the drill they realized that they would want their insurance papers. They added those to the backpacks of emergency things that they keep next to their door. It is impressive that this bishop was able to help prepare his members this way.

Though we don't have fires here in Maryland, there are other reasons we might be asked to evacuate. I think I will check my emergency supplies in my cars and my 3-day kit of food, clothing and emergency items so that we can be as prepared as possible for an emergency.

And I pray for those people who are suffering now with this fire and hope they will have the support and resources they need to help them get through it.


Cami said...

I have a friend who had to evacuate too! It's so good for people to be prepared.

Julia A said...

I'm glad your family is safe for now. Mine's ok, haven't had to evacuate just yet. I hope and pray the same.