Be prepared.

If I learned anything from the very short time I spent as a brownie in the Girl Scouts oh, so many years ago, it’s “be prepared.”  There have been too many times in my life when I wasn’t prepared, and I have learned from them also.  I mean… I thought I was prepared, but I wasn’t.  Honestly, one cannot anticipate everything, can one. It’s an exercise in frustration to even try.

smoke in the mountains

Picture by the local traffic camera

But there are certain things that one can prepare for, and it’s really just common sense. I ran across this article today (worry not, dear reader, it has a happy ending) about 143 hikers that got caught between two forest fires in Oregon and Washington.  They made it out, but they were damned lucky. Only one hiker of the 143 people had the necessary supplies needed for a night in the woods — in case of emergency. One. If y’all are gonna go hiking in the woods — even if you think it’s only going to be for an hour or two, you need to bring emergency supplies. Because an emergency, by its very nature, happens when you’re not expecting it. And if you do not bring those supplies, then you won’t have them. It’s really as simple as that. Better to lug an extra pound or two of supplies than die because you didn’t have them. Mylar blankets really don’t weigh that much, neither to water purifiers or matches.

But I digress.  Not everyone goes hiking in the woods, but we all live in an area where natural disasters will strike at any moment. Everywhere. That’s no lie. Even if you don’t live in an area that’s hit by hurricanes, tornadoes or that’s prone to wildfires, there isn’t a spot on this earth that isn’t affected by too much rain. Even deserts get rain once in awhile, and when it rains too much at one time, the effects are catastrophic. Right now, there’s a hurricane heading towards the Caribbean Islands and Florida. And the Gulf Coast is still reeling from Harvey.  That’s in one area of the United States. Here is a picture of all of the wildfires happening in Washington and Oregon:

western wildfires

I live up near Seattle

That’s as of today September 6, 2017. Now, most of these fires were started by lightning and other natural causes, but some were by stupidity — people tossing cigarettes, people using fireworks (like the one in the article above), lawnmowers, &c… It’s been a dry summer, and people just don’t understand how quickly a fire can spread.  And those are just the hot spots in those two states. Emergencies can happen anywhere, at any time.

Right now, all of that lovely grass that was my yard is dead and I simply don’t have the energy to cut it.  I’m absolutely terrified that it’s just going to spark and flame any second now.   I’ll tell y’all what, dear reader. I’ve prepared for many things, but my home catching fire? there isn’t much one can do about that. Run I guess. I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I don’t have a bug out plan, and that’s kinda making me nervous. Where would we go if we had to evacuate? I don’t even know. My SUV will fit us all, but it’s not big enough for everyone to lie down in all at once. Not really.

1405136681912

Makes me wish I still had The Beast aka The Willow Wagon

I’m totally prepared if I have to hunker down, but bugging out? Nope. Not even for a day. And that’s kinda my point.  I know that this area is prone to dry summers. I’ve lived here before. I also know that it’s prone to earthquakes and fires. We’re too high up in the mountains to worry about tsunami but we do have to worry about the occasional snow storm and power outage. These are things I should be preparing for because this is the area I live in.  And even I, who gets concerned with these things, puts them off to another day… mostly because I just don’t have the money and/or energy to do the things I want to do… but honestly, I hope that my lack of energy (and money) doesn’t come back to bite me. Right now, all I can do is cross my fingers and hope for rain.

weather sat

Maybe a little on Saturday… Maybe

One thought on “Be prepared.

  1. We are generally safe here because so far, the woods has never caught on fire. We don’t get earthquakes and hurricanes are very rare this far north. We missed Sandy by about 4 miles. But we have had a seriously flooded basement and no money to pay to have it clean out, so we did it ourselves. What a mess.

    We, like you, have nowhere to go. If we had to go somewhere, everyone we know lives basically here, so we would ALL need to go somewhere and none of us has ANY money. And no, we also don’t have a generator because we couldn’t afford it. In 17 years, we’ve never lost power for more than a few hours and that was because a tree fell across the wires or the electric company was rewiring something. We has more outages in Boston than here. Or, as we say, so far, so good.

    The trees that have fallen — we live in the woods and we have storms — have all fallen on other trees or at worst, the fence and the pole that used to hold the basketball hoop. Otherwise? Small branches. We did manage to clear away the trees that were dangerously close to the house … mostly … but those big red oaks hover over us. They could fall. It could happen. We don’t get many summer storms, but we get some astounding blizzards.

    One way or another, here is where we are going to be. Let’s just hope that whatever happens doesn’t make that impossible!

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