“Fortune favors the prepared mind.”
- Louis Pasteur

In 2016, my dear friend lost EVERYTHING in the devastating Santa Rosa fire, including her two beloved pets and a lifetime’s catalog of creative work. Forced to flee her home immediately with just the clothes on her back, she was caught totally off-guard. The late night evacuation came out of left-field; the life-threatening fires not yet our new reality.

This is real, folks. We have been put on notice too many times since the Tubbs Fire of 2016 to be found unprepared NOW. Be it fire, flood or earthquake, you must be ready to roll in the event of an unexpected emergency evacuation.

8 Ways to Prepare for an Emergency:

  • Pack a bag for yourself, your loved ones and your pet(s), leaving it by the door. Edit until you get it right. Weekend travelers might consider simply leaving their overnight bag beside the grab-&-go bag (for extra coverage) during high-danger periods.

  • Have pet carriers out, properly lined/cushioned, with treats inside (to entice entry). Pack a pet bag containing food, plastic bowls, a fork, a recyclable litter box, bag of litter, scoop, a leash/harness, poop-scoop bags. Know your pet's hiding places; block them off during high-alert periods.

  • Keep your gas tank filled and bottled water in the trunk at all times.

  • During high-fire or high-flood alert periods, keep electric garage doors and gates open. Pull your car out, positioned for a quick exit.

  • Heavily drench the plants around the perimeter of your home.

  • Trim branches that encroach upon the roofline of your property.

  • Rake excess leaves from the yard; sweep pine needles from the pavement.

  • Preserve memories by bringing photo albums, old videotapes, CDs to a camera shop for transfer onto a thumb-drive. Toss a duplicate into your grab-&-go bag. 

Adapt to our new reality by implementing these 8 lifestyle changes until they become habit. Doing so may ultimately save your life.

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