Location: Redwood Ave
Situation: My situation is a little more challenging than most, my house is on the side of a hill and I have 80 steps to climb from my house to where my car is parked, and 3 cats to take with me.
Therefore I had to think about being very prepared and do as much as possible before I had to evacuate. I am fortunate as I have a place to go if I am evacuated. Before every summer I take items that can be stored to this other house. Amongst those are cat food, bowls , litter and litter boxes, blankets and toys. I also pack a couple of suitcases with toiletries, clothes, items I would prefer not to burn: some heirloom jewelry, photos, etc. as well as passports, social security card, birth certificate and other papers which would be time consuming or difficult to replace. Sheets, winter clothes, extra glasses, etc. For those without a place to stay you can keep some of the items above in the trunk of your car.
As to my car, I keep in it: goggles, heavy leather gloves, bandanas, masks. An extra pair of hiking shoes, flashlight, radio, batteries. I make sure I always have at least ¾ of a tank of gas, that my water reservoir and windshield wiper tanks are full. I also keep a couple of gallons of tap water, in case car overheats and if there is a lot of ashes that water can be used to clear windows.
I always park my car in the direction I will need to take to evacuate.
As to the house, I have purchased a 4 in 1 tool, which has a water and gas shut off, this tool is kept in a drawer closest to the door. I have a “go bag” in which I keep clothes I will need to wear prior to evacuate – heavy pants, sturdy shoes, etc - once the bag is empty I can put in it other items I wish or may have forgotten, medications, etc.
With these preparations I feel I can make 3 to 4 trips up my stairs, 2 for the cats and 1 or 2 for myself. In conclusion the more challenging your situation is, the more preparations need to be made in case you have to evacuate.
My husband and I have only our younger son living at home. He just turned 10. The three of us each have go-bags packed. Our N95 masks, goggles and gloves are easily accessible. We also have three sleeping bags ready. Our dog Scooby has a go-bag too; his is the heaviest because of the dog food. We store them at the base of our stairs.
Keeping our cell phones fully charged is always a challenge, but we do have additional chargers in both cars. If we get separated from one another, our family meeting spot is the Drake High School parking lot.
We bought a Red Cross approved Eton brand all-purpose weather radio and USB phone charger. We keep it in the window by our bed. It provides weather alerts and solar-powered LED lights. The seven NOAA channels provide timely and reliable info on emergency situations and evacuations. The AM/FM digital radio was really helpful for news and the device allowed us to charge our phones during last year’s controlled power outages.
Our route is simple. We’d take one car and head down Humboldt Ave. We keep our cars face forward and try our best to have a full tank of gas at all times. If time allowed after getting my family and Scooby in the car, I’d likely take my favorite photos, I’d also probably grab framed art that my two sons created. But really, if we were ordered to evacuate, I’d move quick. It wouldn’t be hard because we’re prepared. When we get warned, as I am sure we will on the red flag days to come, that’s when I pack the car.
We keep two gallons of drinking water in each car along with first aid kits, and extra prescription glasses for my husband and I.
I’d likely check on my immediate neighbors, just cause. The couple next door only have a landline telephone -- no mobile phone and no computer. But, they got the recent notification for the drill from Alert Marin, and they called me to ask if it was mandatory. I got the alert too. I actually got a call, email and text, the night before around 6 pm and then exactly at 9 am the following day.
We are lucky to have such kind neighbors. You hear about people who have terrible neighbors but that’s not the case for us. I could not ask for better folks on my short lane, we genuinely care about each others’ well being and safety.
Location: Floribel Ave
RED FLAG DAYS
IF EVACUATION REQUIRED
Location: Floribel Ave
Description: We are a family of four with two school age children. Our home is about thirty steps up from the road. Our evacuation routes are moderately wooded and very curvy. Cars are often parked on the sides of the road.
Evacuation Route: We have two main routes out for evacuation in our car. Our primary is Floribel to Redwood down across Center to Sir Francis Drake. Our secondary is Floribel to Scenic across Center towards Sir Francis Drake.
There was a voluntary evacuation drill today for parts of Fairfax and San Anselmo that was organized by RVFD and MWPA. YFSG members and a few other zones were instructed to evacuate at 9am. We were out of our house by 9:05 after putting on the protective gear in our go bags. The roads were empty. Maybe we were quick. There was short notice about the drill so I suspect that not many people participated. Here's what I learned from the experience:
Also, apologies as this blog post was supposed to be about preparing a go-kit. It's super easy. Here's an easy how-to guide from Firesafe Marin.
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