Thursday, July 25, 2013


Tonight we are having a sleepover. Our dear friends had quite the scare this afternoon as a wildfire started just behind their home and they had to evacuate. As you can see in the photos below taken from Chad's facebook page, this would be quite the sight. 
Their home is the one in the photo above - and you can see it to the right of the blue house in the top photo.

As we got the call that they were being evacuated and needed a home to stay, we, of course, welcomed them with open arms. Our casa is their casa any day!

I can't imagine what they are going through. We sat at the dining room table and enjoyed some late night cocktails... Mango Daiquiri's to be exact. With pineapple rum... YUM! - - something to calm the nerves.
We also discussed how fast these wildfires can happen when it's been SO DRY and SO unusually HOT for western Montana this summer. We were talking about how they were evacuated and what if, heaven forbid, their house burned down... How do you deal with that? What do you grab? What do you leave? How do you know who to call? How do you get your 'stuff' back? Where do you go?

It really made me stop and think "wow, we need to get our ducks in a row!"
When it comes to fires, it can happen so quickly. Joel and I live snugged up to a mountain and if lightning struck the side and started a fire, we would have to leave immediately. There is one way in, one way out here. My family is very ill-prepared when it comes to a situation like that. 

Here is a checklist of items that you should have ready to go, in a small fireproof box or somewhere that you know EXACTLY where everything is at.

  • Social Security cards
  • Driver's licenses
  • Credit cards
  • House deed
  • Vehicle titles
  • Marriage license
  • Birth Certificates
  • Insurance policies
  • Health insurance cards
  • Prescription medications
  • Important personal computer information downloaded to a hard drive
  • Valuable jewelry, guns, 
  • Photographs
  • Home videos
  • Items with sentimental value, such as wedding dress or baby keepsakes
  • One week's worth of clothing
  • Pets with ID tags, carriers, and pet food

Prepare to Evacuate
►Dress to prevent burns – sturdy shoes, cotton or wool clothing, long pants,
gloves, and a bandana to protect your face.
►Contact your neighbors and tell them about the fire.
►Park the car in the garage, facing out with windows closed and keys in ignition. Do NOT leave the vehicle running!
►Close the garage door but leave it unlocked. Disconnect automatic garage doors
in case of power failure.
►Place documents and mementos inside the car in the garage. Don’t forget home insurance information, your address book, the computer hard-drive, prescriptions and eyeglasses, cell phone charger, extra car keys, and credit cards. Take personal items and clothes for minimum of five days.
►Confine pets to one room or inside pet carriers.
►Leave a note in your home with contact information.

If Time Allows
►Cover windows and other openings with fire resistant material.
►Shut off propane or natural gas valves.
►Remove excess gasoline and barbecue propane tanks from property.
►Attach garden hoses to spigots.
►Fill trashcans/buckets with water & place them where firefighters can find them.
►Place a ladder against the house opposite the approaching fire.
►Move combustible deck furniture inside.
►Close windows and doors to prevent sparks or smoke from blowing inside.
►Remove curtains or drapes.
►Turn on each room light and porch lights to make the house more visible.
►Move stuffed furniture away from windows and walls.

►Let authorities know of neighbors who might need assistance evacuating.
►Use pre-planned routes, away from the approaching fire front.
►If you are trapped by fire while evacuating in your car, park in an area clear of vegetation, close windows and vents, cover yourself with a blanket or jacket and lie on the floor.
►If you are trapped by fire while evacuating on foot, select an area clear of vegetation along a road, or lie in the road ditch. Cover any exposed skin. Avoid canyons that can concentrate and channel fire.
►If you are trapped by wildfire inside your home, stay away from outside walls. Close doors, but leave unlocked. Keep your entire family together and remain calm. If it gets hot inside, it is much hotter and more dangerous outside.

After the Fire Passes
►Check the roof immediately for sparks and embers.
►Check inside the attic for hidden burning embers.
►Check the yard for burning woodpiles, fence posts, or other materials.
►Keep the doors and windows closed.
►Continue rechecking your home and yard for at least 12 hours.

This is a reality for most of us in my area. It's time to get prepared folks. I know I will be! 

Please say a prayer for our friends' home and the hundreds of homes in the path of this fire. Lift up the firefighters and crews working through this heat that they will all be safe. Pray that The Lord will send some much needed rain our way.


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