From the Editor

It took that very windy Monday and the fires in Colfax for me to realize how fast one can spread and the need to be prepared. Our stepdaughter was burned out in Paradise California and I think we can learn the most from people who have been through it. I am working on this list so I am more prepared next time.
 – Fill up your gas tank and make sure it is 3/4 full during fire season.
 – Pack way more than you think you need for an evacuation. Plan for 2 weeks.
 – Make a list of what you don’t want to leave behind and keep it by the door. It’s easy to forget in a frenzy (Think laptops, wedding rings, photos)
 – If you have kiddos keep a go bag of their distance learning materials. Keeping the structure helps them feel safer.
 – Take a video inventory of everything in your home. Open up closets & drawers and talk about what’s inside.  Walk around your property and talk about different plants and trees and structures.
 – Turn off any propane tanks before you go.
 – If you think the power will be off, throw away everything in your fridge or freezer and take out your trash or you may return to a smelly mess.

 – If your address is not shown on your I.D. make sure you keep a copy of your utility bill with you to show residency for feme/air B&B applications etc.
 – Contact your insurance agent as you leave to start your claim. Most plans cover 2 weeks of food and lodging and supplies while under mandatory evacuation.
 – Check out AirB&B. Once evacuated they will open up emergency housing for free. Email the owner directly about rules for pets.
 – Before you go, seal and shut all windows and doors. Close and wrap any AC units. This will reduce smoke damage.
 – If you can evacuate early. You don’t want to be stuck in traffic. Go with your gut and go when you say you feel unsafe.
 – Keep a cooler of drinks and snacks in your car. You may have to drive a long way.
 – Keep a bit of cash on hand. And notify your bank so your card won’t have a fraud alert placed on it.
 – Back home, use a hose or wet paper towels to clean up ash. It can be toxic if it is airborne.
 – Back home, replace all air filters in your home and car.

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