When Mother Nature throws a tantrum, the difference between life and death can come down to a few critical decisions. So here are three crucial mistakes you DON’T want to make when disaster strikes. Oh, and by the way, the reason I know is because I made all three and miraculously still lived to tell the tale.
Ignoring red flags. The day the Cedar Fire hit I was oblivious to news and weather reports about dangerous “red flag” fire conditions. I could have been so much better prepared. How about you? Do you pay attention to news, weather and social media reports? Are you in touch with your neighbors so you can share info if and when an emergency situation develops?
Neglecting critical preparations.
Do you know where your car keys and wallet are?
We could only find the keys to one of our vehicles, so instead of driving to safety in my husband’s big, rugged SUV, we had to crowd two people, two gigantic Newfoundland dogs and a caged cockatiel into my little sports coupe.
Do you have all your irreplaceable belongings gathered together so you could “grab and go?”
We lost thousands of irreplaceable family negatives and videos.
Do you have collars, leashes, cages or crates ready so you can easily take your pets with you?
Thankfully, we were able to save all our animals, but many of our neighbors couldn’t.
Waiting too long to evacuate.
Emergency responders WILL be overwhelmed and may not be able to warn you in time.
We didn’t have any advance warning that fire was headed our way and ended up driving out through smoke and flames. Again, it’s a miracle we survived. Twelve of our neighbors didn’t.
Most wildfire victims are killed in their cars, while trying to escape through the worst of the flames.
Sandra’s LIVE Formula to Survive a Wildfire
Listen to your gut.
If you feel like you’re in danger, you probably are and should take action.
Pay attention to the news and weather. Get a scanner app and other emergency apps for your smartphone.
Value yourself more than your stuff.
Don’t waste precious time packing. Anyone who’s ever lost all their “stuff” will tell you: all that’s
really important are necessities (like keys, wallet, glasses, Rx) and irreplaceables (like pictures,
heirlooms, and children’s artwork.)
Don’t wait until things get really scary. Don’t hang around shooting selfies and cell-phone videos. Don’t
try to be a garden-hose hero and save your house from 100-foot walls of flames. Just get out while you s
still can. So those are my best survival tips. Be smart. Stay safe. BTW, you can download a copy of
these tips at www.fireoutsidemywindow.com.