Thursday, July 7, 2011

What I Learned as a Wildfire Evacuee

Hi everyone! Sorry I have been MIA lately. We were finally able to return to our homes on Sunday! So we were gone for a week. It is still REALLY smokey and we can see the fires in the mountains above town. This fire seems unstoppable. It is no longer a danger to our town (unless things go very badly), but it is still blazing a trail north so keep sending prayers and positive thoughts to all the people displaced!

After the evacuation I started putting together a bit of a list of things that will be helpful in preparing for future evacuations (it seems to happen every 10 years or so here since we live on the edge of a forest and the desert). So here is my list of helpful things:
  • Make sure that you have your pets vaccination records in the important paperwork that you take with you!!! Some hotels require the records on file if you take a pet inside. Animal shelters (where we are housing our cats currently) prefer shot records, but thankfully they understand the nature of emergency so they let us slide. Even Petsmart wants the records to do grooming! Petco made an exception for us since we are evacuees. Some hotels in Santa Fe were requiring pets to be groomed before they could stay in the hotel.
  • Pack a variety of types of clothing (i.e. casual, work, cool weather, warm weather, etc...). I managed to only pack about 3 work shirts so I get to do laundry every 3rd day as long as we are out. Luckily we are staying with friends as this would be extra troublesome in a hotel or shelter.
  • Talk to friends about staying with them in emergencies ahead of time. We had to scramble to find a place that we could go with our critters.
  • Check with animal shelters to see if they can board your pets if needed. Our kitties DO NOT travel well!!! So we have them boarded with the shelter for free. The Santa Fe shelter is GREAT!!!
  • Make sure to pack early. We packed when the evacuations were voluntary. This gave us a lot of time to get the things that we forgot in our initial rush.
  • Take or throw out the stuff from your fridge that will go bad or start to smell. I didn't do this. I am really hoping that there is no reason for the power to go out!!! No matter what, the leftovers in the fridge are gonna be NASTY by the time we get back. And take out the trash!!!
  • Find out ahead of time what your employer's policy is so that you are not caught off guard when you get called to work the day after you are evacuated.
  • Buy lots of eye drops to help combat the smoke.
  • Always keep a set of extra vacation fish feeders around just in case. Luckily our fish made it, but they went without food for several days after the algae tabs dissolved.
  • Most renters & homeowners insurance plans have a loss of use policy. You may have to pay your deductible, but this policy should cover the cost of hotels if you are forced to leave your home. Most policies also cover smoke damage (luckily we did not have any).
Well that's all I can think of right now. I will do another post shortly about my baseline ultrasound yesterday!


  1. So glad you're able to go back now! That had to be crazy leaving like that.

  2. What a great idea to make a list! I wouldn't have even thought of pet papers, emptying leftovers from the fridge, or taking out the trash. Our area rarely has evacuations, but I will remember that stuff for sure now!