Fire Preparation April 17, 2020

Wet In Winter, Fire In Summer – Are You Prepared?

I’ve been thinking about this since the publication on April 10th of an article with a similar title in our local Prescott paper. I know many folks don’t get the local paper and some still do read it on-line. Still, remembering back to the Doce Fire in Prescott, Arizona, of June 2013, I wondered how many folks have any literature on how to be prepared.

I remember watching from our driveway, the flames creep up over then crest the top of Granite Mountain and begin a steady descent downward toward homes at the base of the mountain. For more than a week we woke up to the sound of helicopters and airplanes flying overhead to deposit the retardant on the flames. We were on alert for that whole week and our nerves were pretty frayed. We never knew when we might hear the knock at our door alerting us to evacuate. I had never had to look around our home and decide what to take and what we would have to leave behind. Hard to do and pretty sobering.

You see, at the time, we had 3 Airedale Terriers (each weighing more than 70 lbs) and 4 horses. We only had one car and could only take a minimal amount with us and have room for our dogs and their food. Fortunately, some dear friends in Chino Valley allowed us to move our horses to their property as soon as we were put on notice. Let me tell you, you NEVER want to be in a position to have to move horses at the last minute, quickly, in the dark with smoke in the air. And our notice could very easily have come late at night and with 10 minutes to move out. That’s all that other neighbors got. We also had the offer of a casita in the Tucson area from an Airedale Terrier loving friend with whom I volunteer through Southwest Airedale Terrier Rescue.

What I’m saying is we had the rudimentary outline of a plan born of being in the middle of a very tense time. Want to save you some of that stress so I’m sharing the link below which will open up a brochure of the Yavapai County Office of Emergency Management. As you will see, the brochure provides informational websites, basic evacuation procedures, evacuation levels, what to take, evacuation routes & destinations, and evacuation actions. One of the last items hits the nail on the head for me….”Prior planning will prevent stressful evacuation.”