I posted my last post Tuesday, Talk Story Tuesday — Kids, Stickers, and Numbers. Since then, a fire started in the Black Forest area, which is where I live. Dry winds combining with almost triple-digit temperatures fanned the flames into a roaring forest fire that rapidly engulfed numerous homes. Part of the problem is the tree density of the area, the lack of water infrastructure, and the strong winds. Tuesday afternoon my Mom and I returned from running errands and being alerted of the fire with bottled water and a plan to start packing. At that point the evac zone was about four miles to our west and hadn’t moved in a few hours. We felt confident we would be ready to leave if need be. Less than three hours later it jumped from its former position to about a half a mile west of us, and we booked it out of there.
Now, I have not yet officially started my Red Cross training, which has frustrated me to no end over the last couple of days. But, what I did receive was a helpful briefing and accompanying handout on some of the recommended items to pack. The biggest thing hit from the briefing was, “You are worthless as a first responder if you do not prepare yourself and your families first.” It’s true. I got a first hand feeling of that Tuesday when I was wishing the phone wouldn’t ring and call me away from my family being evacuated.
As a diabetic, emergency evacuations are a potential nightmare. Here are a couple of tips that I’ve been thinking about over the last couple of days that might help.
1. Start packing medicine/supplies the minute you hear a whiff of ‘you might be evacuated’ — Now is not the time to play the hero with your property. Especially with a diabetic, the earlier you pack and are prepared the less stressed you will be about the medication you need to survive.
2. Pack a seven day supply — Now that may seem like a lot, but it’s not really. That is the recommended amount of medicine to pack for an emergency evacuation. The idea is, by the time a week has passed you’ve either been let back into your homes or further arrangements have been made. This also helps with having a plan. Just worry about seven days. That’s it.
3. Pack all of your prescriptions — This is crucial. In addition to your personal information, make sure you have a copy of all your important diabetes prescriptions. An easy way to do that is to make sure the boxes of strips or insulin that you grab are the ones with the scrips right on them. If you run out, you can get the supplies you need through filling your prescriptions.
4. Pack low supplies — I know this might seem a given, but just in case. Pack a good amount of low supplies, you might be surprised at how much you burn through.
5. Pack more strips — You might go through a bottle of strips in a week or two days, but you need to pack above and beyond that for an emergency situation. Chances are you’ll being checking more under the stress, and there is nothing worse than wanting to check and not being able to.
Those are the ones I can think of right now. I’m sure there are more.
I hope and pray no one ever has to use these, but I did, so chances are somebody else will too.
Currently my house is fine. It’s on the eastern edge of the burn zone, but depending on how the winds go…we’re not out of danger yet. I don’t expect to let back into my house for at least the next couple of days, but my Mom went a little over the seven day supply that I packed and grabbed everything (which is fine…I think), so I am fine. Thank you for all the support and prayers from all over the country — continue them, this fight is not over yet.