In October, the Santa Rosa Fire in Northern California hit home for me. I don’t live in Santa Rosa, but the reality that climate change is really happening NOW shook me. I was nervous to leave my home for fear that the Santa Cruz Mountains fire would blow down our way and I might not be able to retrieve anything or save my dogs and chickens. That’s when I got serious and created an Evacuation Plan.
I met with my IT guy and we started backing up all of my business and personal files in the cloud. The software scans my computers and uploads new (or newly updated) files to the cloud. I have already scanned my 200+ photo albums (1 TB) and digitized my 450+ videos (3.5 TB), and we organized a systematic back-up these files to physical hard drives that are stored off-site with my two daughters in different parts of the country. Phew! That gives me peace of mind.
We also have Replacement-Cost insurance, so theoretically, our physical possessions would be replaced if our home is destroyed. I took photos of every item in our house, including all books, albums, tools, clothes, and furniture. EVERYTHING! And those photos are saved on our photo drives offsite.
Knowing that I have all of my photos, videos, and a photo record of all physical possessions in our house, made it easy for me to create a Go-Bag. Nicole, my daughter who is doing an EMS fellowship at UCSF, told me to create 2 Go-Bags: (1) Things we’ll need to survive for a week; and (2) Things that we use daily and can’t pack away ahead of time.
I made my Go-Bag (1) and filled it with clothes, contact lenses, hydrogen battery charger, water, and food. I also packed sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows, and placed all of this in my trunk so it’s always with me and ready to go.
Then I made my Go-Bag (2) and stapled a list of things (with photos) that I would like to take in the case of an evacuation. I placed these bags near all of the exits in my house so anyone in the house would know what to take in an emergency. I listed my computer servers, files I use daily, medications, and jewelry.
As our climate heats up and our droughts become more severe, wildfires are going to become the norm. Set up your Go-Bags for your car and house, so you won’t have to make difficult decisions about what to take if you have to evacuate.
Pack your Go-Bag!