Wednesday, October 24, 2007

In the midst of the flames...

I believe I've mentioned before that I don't watch television. That doesn't mean that I don't keep up on current events. I read the news from several sources on the Internet. And occasionally I watch the short news videos.

This afternoon I spent time watching several videos regarding the fires in California. I'm familiar with the concept of evacuations. Some of my family used to live in Arizona in an area that seemed to be evacuated every year. My personal experience with evacuations always had to do with potential flooding and hurricanes. The basic premise is the same. You're fleeing from a life threatening situation.

Time after time, I see clips where the individual escaped with the clothes on their back. Period. And I'm always puzzled by this. How did it reach that point? Why were they not prepared? I'm not talking about a last minute preparation that the fire roared through a canyon or jumped an interstate. I'm not talking about preparation that you hastily throw together as the water is rising or the winds are blowing. I'm talking about a permanent emergency kit.

We have a plastic waterproof folder with our important papers in it. Birth certificates, social security cards, insurance papers, and all those other things we would need in an emergency (such as pets immunization records and immunization records for kids--if we had any). In the basket I keep my medicines in, there's a large plastic zipper bag big enough that I could actually put the entire basket in the bag. Important computer documents are on flash drives that reside in my purse.

The instant that I hear of a threatening situation, I immediately pack a bag with several changes of clothing, emergency toiletries, and put everything together by the door. If things look worse, I pack the car. When the authorities say evacuate, I go.

Does that mean that I willingly leave my accumulated life behind? No. But with life, a restart is possible. Nothing I own is worth my life or my family's lives. I grieve for the families that have lost their homes. Starting over is difficult. But it shouldn't be made more difficult by a lack of planning and forethought. Planning time is now when no emergency exists. Then when the disaster strikes, preparation for the unthinkable eases the way.

To my way of thinking, disaster preparedness is the ultimate proof that you care for your family.


When last we saw the Saga, Amarinda left Emmeline lost in Vegas...

Emmeline looked down at the ring and swore. “Dumb ring. I wanted real riches not possible riches” She looked around her. A gaudy sign caught her eye. Her mouth dropped open in shock.

“Holy snapping ducks!” Rafe and Rinalda’s smiling faces beamed out at her. “What the hell are they doing here?

Well, what could I possibly do?

“They’re the latest sensation in Vegas,” another chubby Elvis impersonator intoned before stopping to take a second look at Emmeline. “Say, baby, where do you work? Way out costume!”

Emmeline stared down at him haughtily. “I am a warrior woman from Zenon 5.” With the purple buzzing vibrator she pointed at the sign with Rafe and Rinalda. “How do I find them?”

“See the building with the sign? Just go inside the casino and ask one of the security people there. They’ll be able to help you.” The rotund fake Elvis shot her another disbelieving look. “So where can I find Zenon 5? Are there anymore there like you?”

She poked him with the vibrator. “There is no one anywhere like me. I am Emmeline, warrior woman!”

“Riiiiight. Okay, I’ll just be going now.” The little man sidled away, before turning to run down the street.

Emmeline stalked the other way to the building with the flashing sign, her quills clacking in outrage. So this is where Rinalda was hiding with Rafe! Trust that witch to pick someplace like Vegas. Emmeline shuddered at the memories of her time here with Zoltan. Never again.

People moved hastily out of her way as stomped determinedly into the casino. Vaguely, she heard whispers, “Xena, there’s Xena!” “That’s not Xena, you idiot. That woman has quills.”

Emmeline accosted a tiny white haired senior citizen wresting her cane from her so that the woman fell back again the slot machine she was standing next to. Abruptly lights and bells and whistles went off as quarters pour from the machine. Wielding the cane like a sword, Emmeline started fending off the people that surged toward them to get a better look.

“Well, well, Emmeline. I might have known you would be creating a ruckus.”

Who recognized Emmeline? What will happen next? Stay tuned tomorrow at Kelly's blog. In the meantime, check out her blog today where she discusses time travel and UFOs. and then drop by Amarinda's blog where her fabulous author this week is Anita Birt. Blessings on your day.


  1. I think you can only prepare so much. You have to get out with what you can and save your arse.

  2. Well said. Seems like some places (like California) have more than their share of potential disasters waiting to happen. It probably wouldn't be possible to prepare for every eventuality but you could gather essentials together, particularly if you have some warning that things were turning ugly.

    I too keep my important documents in a plastic file folder, ready to grab in case we should ever need to be evacuated in a hurry.

  3. Up in the frozen tundra, we learned to keep a bag of stuff in our trunks (flashlight, extra batteries, first aide, fleece or space blanket, water bottles, granola bars, a baggie of contact information for family and friends) in case we were stranded on the side of the road. It's the same kind of thing. Protect yourself. Nobody else will. They will be too busy getting out with their clothes on their backs to bother with whether or not you are okay.

  4. Anny,

    You are definitely a cut above the average American. I was watching briefly the news today and heard that some of them had less than 20 minutes warning before the fire was actually within a mile of their homes. You are right that being prepared is necessary and the right and loving thing to do. I just think that a lot of people refuse to think ahead.

    Susie AKA Susilien