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Fire Evacuation Preparation

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Yard Dart, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    Wildfire is largest in Washington state history |
    KING5.com Seattle


    Out here in Washington we are focused on about 10 fires that are out of control. The Carlton Complex Fire is the largest in state history. It has been making me think about preparation and what still needs to be done.... these real life events bring home a reality to where you are in your readiness. One town has lost power and water services for up to a month at this time due to fire damage. They have tent towns set-up for all the evacuee's, with about 200 homes burned, many have nowhere to go.

    Based on this scenario, what do you think you still need to do or improve upon:
    Fire is coming at you 30 miles an hour... much like the fire traveled above, giving folks about 20 minutes before mandatory evacuation.

    What have you done in your prep's to ensure you could quickly load-out and evacuate under this type of danger... or the many other threats such as a flood that would make you evacuate with little notice? Do you have things preloaded in stack-able containers to make dense loading with food, water and so on... to maximize loading capacity of your vehicle? Is your vehicle able to carry much and have you put thought into a travel/storage type trailer? Has your emergency documents/phone numbers/ and other critical paperwork been scanned and downloaded onto a memory stick to use for insurance, proof of ownership, titles and such? Do you have ammo stored in portable cases for your primary/secondary weapons that can be moved readily? Do you have a portable gennie, camp stove and lights with adequate fuel, camping gear and so on ready & maintained... so you can move it quickly.... and so on?

    Food for thought....
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
    Motomom34 and GOG like this.
  2. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    Wildfire is our #1 threat here. Back in '06 we watched as half the panhandle burned up. Fires moving so fast the cattle burned where they stood. The photos of the burnt fields with blackened cattle dotting the landscape were surreal. Something like 2 million acres, poof. A friend of mine's family lost around a thousand acres to it and it was weeks before they found where their horses had escaped to. Since then we've had to evac several times, fortunately able to return to no damage each time. The worst part is knowing that there's a very good chance whatever doesn't end up in your vehicle may not be there when you return. And not just your home. Maybe nothing. The fire that hit a town in this area not too long ago may be its death knell. Will you even have a job left when the all-clear sounds?

    ATM we are not as ready to roll as we have been in previous years. Previously I had totes stacked along one wall in the garage that could be piled on our landscape trailer at a moment's notice and see us through several months of involuntary camping. (or completely overloaded in the back of the Mr.'s truck because he refuses to leave the Skeeter behind) Food, gear, clothing, blankets, pet supplies, etc. However, voluntary camping trips and random garage dig throughs have sort of depleted and upended my GTFO totes and I need to redo them.

    One thing a lot of people forget/don't realize is many of the shelters won't allow pets. None of them around here will and at least in our area, emergency management has pretty much no plan on where you can take them. In '11 wildfires driven by 70 mph gusts took out a boarding kennel in addition to 20 or so homes. Firefighters managed to let a few dozen of the dogs loose but many burned to death. So with our totes, we have VariKennels, extra leashes, bowls, tie outs, and a little foldable portable pen. For fire we'd head to his family's places which are anywhere from 15 miles to a 6 hour drive away, not a shelter or campground, but still plan for if we had to stay at a camp ground or state park.

    All important documents, birth certificates, passports, deeds, etc are in a fire safe that again, can be loaded fast. I also have everything scanned to flash drives that are in our BOBs.

    Don't have a gennie but the truck's inverters can handle charging stuff and running a few strings of LED Xmas lights for our camping stuff. Good on camp stoves, propane, and of course matches and twigs. :D

    Fortunately neither of us are the sentimental sort. I don't do family photo albums and if my wedding dress burns up it's one less thing I need to take to Goodwill.
    GOG, tulianr, KAS and 2 others like this.
  3. KAS

    KAS Monkey++

    my inlaws were evacuated over in eastern washington.
    And boy were they not prepaired ..
    Thank god they had no damage done but i bet they will be prepaired next time !!!
    This has not been a good year for washington state...
    ditch witch and Yard Dart like this.
  4. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Sorry to hear that KAS.... Hope they use this as a Training experience...
    KAS likes this.
  5. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    That is key, to have take away's for what they can do better next time.... in case they do loose everything.
    I hope as well that they have learned something, and they amongst many others are better prepared in the future.
    Fire is a wicked thing, that will take everything you have and leave you standing in the ash!!
  6. GOG

    GOG Monkey++

    That's awfully bad and it's not so great here in Oregon either.

    Thanks for the wake up. I will get things ready to bug out if necessary right away. With the fires close by last year, I had us set up to evac fast. But over the Winter, suitcases got unpacked and footlockers, etc. got put away. Time to get the load out ready to go.
    ghrit and Yard Dart like this.
  7. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    People always think about what they need. People remember to make list of things to grab and precious possessions. The most precious thing you need to remember is you and yours. No pictures, heirlooms or whatnots are more precious then loved ones. Make sure you know your routes out. If your main exit is burning then do you know the alternate? Also do not forget designated meeting spots. We have 2. Spot A is the closest. Spot B is far removed from our general area and usually a receiving area during disasters.

    We have a list of grab and go that is posted on the fridge. We also have the list of evacuation levels posted. Many people wait till they are told to leave. We are geared to leave prior to the Leave Immediately level. IMO it is not worth trying to flee when the danger is so close. I say pull out while it is safe. I saw a video of some guy leaving a fire with flames near his car and you could hear the children crying in the car. Fires create their own weather and he easily could have been trapped.

    Safety first! As Sparky says.....
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014
    KAS, ditch witch, GOG and 3 others like this.
  8. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    We saw/heard this happen numerous times in the past few years. Sheriff dept rolls up saying get out, and the people come out and say ok just hang on while we hitch up to the horse trailer, load the horses, get our stuff, find the cat, etc etc.
  9. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    One thing I did when we were on alert is I took pictures. Every room, especially the big ticket items. I was unsure if home insurance companies are like car insurance companies but I know a car insurance company will try to low ball you unless you can show them that you have taken care of your car, ie recent repairs. I took pictures of tv, tools, tractor, basically recorded our home.

    Bottom-line IMO is get a good fire proof safe and keep your papers/valuables in there. You can pick through the rubble and retrieve your stuff.
  10. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    And I just recently acquired a fire proof safe. Roughly 2' cube. Other than id's, trh rest can ride out the fire in place. My secure phones are already in there.
  11. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    This is a serious issue to me especially those that insist on minimalist and their INCH does not include fire fighting.
    Neglecting this issue will jeopardize them self and others .
    If some one else is camping in your neck of the woods, and is careless about their fire, and it get's out of control; you are out of a home as well as much of your gear . water is contaminated , animals are gone and no brush with food.
    A real shovel can put out fire , and my favorite other tool is the Pulaski for taking down trees and brush making a fire line.
    With so many newbees learning to camp this going to be an issue .With so many more refusing to prep for fire fighting going to the bush may well be useless .
    Ganado and Yard Dart like this.
  12. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Safes are rated by how many hours they will hold their integrity. anyone find a document size safe that will hold past 2 hours?
  13. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Try these guys. I have one. (NO, has not been tested by me----)
    Ganado likes this.
  14. GOG

    GOG Monkey++

    They're probably going to declare the start of fire season here on Friday. Temperatures will be triple digits this weekend. Not good. We need June to be wet and it doesn't look good at least for the next while.
    Now I have to get everything ready to bug out for this year's season. I think I want to buy a tent just to throw in the truck. I'd much rather camp than stay in a shelter, especially with the dog and two cats.
  15. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    This last weekend, we had about 600 acres burned in central WA. Some local boaters stopped and used an established fire ring... the wind picked up, it carried the sparks and started the brush fire. Next thing you know, the fire is coming to a home near you.......
    Fortunately no structures were lost and it just burned up a bunch of sage..... but it could have easily turned into much more.
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