======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ==== ======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ====
Some of y’all might already know this, but I’m a resident of good-ole Los Angeles. While living in California has many upsides (great weather, amazing wine, the ocean), the downsides are equally powerful (income tax, absurd rent, artificial personalities). But the worse? These fucking wildfires. And to top it all off… let’s just say I’m pretty damn close to some of them.
— Katie Callaway (@Kecallaway) November 9, 2018
I used to live in the southeast where hurricane season dictated keeping an eye on evacuation policies. But these wildfires can happen any time of the year! I woke up this morning to texts making sure I wasn’t on evacuation notice (which I’m not… yet), and I kid you not: I didn’t know a fire was even happening in Ventura county. I’ve been battling a head cold for days now and have been in a NyQuil slumber every evening by 8:30 p.m., so I had no clue this fire let loose. Of course, once my NyQuil hangover subsided, the thoughts began:
Where is this fire? How close is it?
I opened Twitter to go to the LAFD and VCFD accounts to check on real-time updates. Well. It’s close. Not too close for a mandatory evacuation, but if it keeps growing that’s a real possibility. I immediately turn on all notifications for those feeds and get ready for work.
Wait… Should I go in to work, anyway?
There are school closures, so does that mean we get a “fire day” at the office? Since I’m not under mandatory evacuation, I’m thinking I still need to show up. Luckily, I can run home if the alert comes in to pack up the animals and valuables.
Oh shit. Packing. What would I need to pack?
You ever have those moments where you have no choice but to prioritize everything you own at once? Obviously the priorities include my dog, cat, passport, social security card, and a handful of clothes. What about that one purse? Nah. Don’t need it. But pet food. Yes. They’ll need to eat. Laptop? Oh. I’m typing on that right now. I already have that. Cool.
I DID remember to pay my renters insurance, right?…
I got the notice about two weeks ago that it was due, and I’m 99% sure it’s on autopay… Okay. I think I’m good. Even though honestly I have no clue what my renters insurance covers, I just know I’m required to have it. That’s probably irresponsible of me, huh?… Too late now. Whatever.
Wait – is my gas tank full?
Hold on… Did I feel up my gas tank this week? All checklists advise to have your tank full at all times but who the hell does that? Nobody! Will I even be able to drive a significant distance? Shit, shit, shit. Okay, I think I have at least half a tank… That should be plenty to at least re-fill at a safer zone.
In totally honesty – these fires are pretty damn scary because of their unpredictability. Not only do you never know when they’ll happen, but they also spread so incredibly quickly. Obviously, I’m not very prepared for a fire. I know where my important items are located if I needed to grab and go, but for the most part it’s tough to plan an exact evacuation process in advance beyond the basics.
Natural disasters are terrifying, regardless of which one your local area experiences the most frequently. Hopefully everyone remains safe if you’re around something scary right now.
At least fire is purifying… right?….