I spent most of the weekend monitoring updates from our fire department and waiting for an evacuation notice. We were on standby for at least 3 days, maybe 4... I lost count. And all this was after a huge fire the week before on the other end of town that was a result of a small plane crash.
It wasn't all bad. Times like this are great for thinking through scenarios in real time. Here's what I found out...
• My Community Homesteading group is A.W.E.S.O.M.E.! We immediately started networking to find out who needed help and what kind of assistance. Our area is actually made up of over 10 pocket communities and we have someone living in almost every single one of those areas. And can you believe that over a two week period, only one area didn't have a fire threat (that I'm aware of). Fortunately they were staggered, but we were all in communication as to who might have a need. Thank you Tehachapi Mountain Homesteaders!!
• Several of us realized immediately that we were not as prepared as we'd like to be. No real surprise, but you always think you'll have more time. As a result, we know where some of our gaps are. This is good because most of us didn't actually have to evacuate; we just thought we might. We're making notes for the future!
• Our CERT class (Community Emergency Response Team) was packed! Full to the brim! As you can imagine, the fires got everyone's attention. More people trained means more people prepared. It's a good thing.
• We learned lots of creative ways of finding out what's going on. I admit, we had electricity, so that was huge! In the future, I hope to not be so dependent on electricity for all that info. I forgot to try my solar radio and afterwards, when it occurred to me, I regretted not trying it out on a real live situation.
• We got a chance to thank our firemen and serve them. Lots of families brought food to the staging area for the strike teams and blessed them with goodies. Also, they had a facebook page set up, so we found that to be most helpful in sending them messages of good will, prayers, and thanks.
So... guess what my challenge response was this week? I submitted a request (and was approved!) to cut a fire break across my property behind our fence line where all the natural brush is on the hill behind us. No time like the present to prepare for the next emergency! (I think I'd better work on being ready to evacuate a bit faster next time!)
Join the Challenge
To join the Preparedness Challenge, just write a post on something you did this week to prepare and then link up below or leave a comment. Even one thing a week adds up and it will encourage you to do even more! And by participating in the challenge, it will get you thinking about prepping on a regular basis.
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