Ready, Set, Go!

View of the fire in North Scottsdale from our backyard Tuesday night.

We came back from our swim Tuesday afternoon and I smelled smoke. An hour later plumes of smoke were in the air. It looked too close for comfort. Called the Diamond Fire, I was getting notifications on my iphone of a fire that started at 5:15 p.m. and roughly 1,000 people had been evacuated.

From what I could tell it was 20 miles away from us. We weren’t in any danger but I decided to pack things in case we were told to evacuate.

What did I pack? Paperwork like the title to our house, some cash, cat food, cat carrier, my flute, music, underwear, socks, tennis shoes and a few shorts and t-shirts. My husband hosed down our pergola, which is the wooden structure in our back yard over the pool bar.

As we texted neighbors, we discovered we weren’t in any danger, but I realized I do need to organize a “Go Kit” in case of emergency.

I saw this on Twitter from the Scottsdale Fire Department. It’s a good reminder:

Today, I’m going to scan our important documents, so I’ll have them on my laptop — and I’m going to back them up. Then I’m going to put together a more organized Go Kit than the one I threw together last evening.

Living in So Cal for decades, I had an earthquake kit. Now I need a “Go Kit” in case of fire or floods.

What type of preparedness plans or kits do you have? What type of emergencies affect your area?

55 thoughts on “Ready, Set, Go!

  1. Sounds like a smart plan EA! I think everyone should have stuff ready to go just in case. There’s no way to predict what could happen anymore with the weather and natural disasters so a general go bag is pretty essential. I hope they’ve made progress on the fire near you- A few years back we had fire within 1 mile of our entire downtown area and you probably remember how small Sumner is 🙂

    • It is a good idea and reassuring to only think about grabbing phones and laptops – and the cat – in an emergency. One of my brother’s college friends grew up in Sumner. She’s our age and I can’t remember her maiden name, but her first name was Nancy. She’s very successful in finance.

      • It’s sort of odd/funny how Sumner has produced quite a few people who go on to be really successful. It’s such a small, quiet, unassuming place and not what I think of as turning out highly successful people 😉 I think that means I’m being judgy and need to reframe my thinking 🙂

  2. Right now, we have poor air quality from the Canadian wildfires. We are not supposed to open our windows, try not to be outside for long, etc. Amazing when I was outside yesterday I could smell the smoke.

  3. “A pool bar” sounds nice. We are in a no flood zone but we have important paperwork together and plans to leave if Category 3 is called. So far, so good. Smoke must be scary. This is one thing we have not dealt with.

  4. Gosh! Glad to hear you’re not impacted this time but I love your preparedness. We should be better organized here. Thx for the gentle nudge. 😘

  5. Our last direct hit was in the 1920s and made landfill in Tarpon Springs. It was Category 3. Lots of close calls but we have been lucky! Counties hit around us, Manatee, Hernando, and areas (Fort Myers, Panhandle, etc.)

    • Hurricanes always make the news in advance with maps and the entire country following the progress. At least you are prepared and know what to do. One weekend we were driving up to Big Bear Lake, an hour and half from Palm Springs. We saw fire on the mountain ridges and decided to turn around and go home. There are literally a couple roads in or out of the mountain town. It could turn into a very dangerous situation.

  6. Glad things worked out and yes, it does sound like a Go Kit is needed. Let’s hope you never have to use it. As a classic Northeastern and pack rat, my Go Kit would include way too many nice to haves like wedding albums and worthless heirlooms and none of the must haves like bottled water, bathroom essentials, underwear. Yes, I need to work on my packing. Ha, ha.

  7. Being in Hurricane country, we have a list of things to make sure we have on hand all the time. Difference is, we KNOW the Hurricane is coming 7-10 days out. Yeah, it may wobble, but the Hurricane trackers have been right enough times that we believe what they say. With fires, all it takes is a few dry days and some dumbass to flick his cigarette butt out the window. Poof. Goodbye neighborhood. No algorithm or radar can track stupidity on such a grand scale.

    • It was comforting for me to put one together. I filled a duffle bag with everything we needs from changes of clothes, shorts, t-shirts, sweats, advil, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc.

      • It must be a scary feeling. When ever there is a strong earthquake, ( there have been a few in last two decades) we just leave the house and stand in the open spaces outside. I remember there was a fire scare when we were in Seattle and we ( everyone) were standing in the street in our pjs. Some didn’t had their phones with them. No money , no passport ( these are important if you’re a visitor).

  8. Have two of those bags (one for the peoples and one for the pets). The city has a wildfire alert system so they can stage the evacuations and minimize the traffic jam.

  9. We have a small portable safe that is flood and fire proof. All the important documents are in there plus computer back ups. I have a hurricane box full of dried food, batteries, water and other essentials. I keep the water from past years in the garage in case we need to flush the toilet.

    There has been a few hurricanes and a forest fire so I am prepared. I always have a few hundred dollars in cash, too.

    • That’s amazing. You are well prepared! Yes, I have a little cash too. If there’s a disaster, chances are the ATMs and debit and credit cards will be down. I’m thinking of buying an extra charger for our phones and putting it in my To Go duffle.

      • The weather is so unpredictable that is better to be safe than sorry. We had an unexpected storm last week that damaged many trees (and then landed on houses).

  10. Being prepared is a good idea. Too bad about that fire – there has already been so much destruction to the desert in that area. Fire is our biggest concern here, too. We’ve done a lot of tree thinning, but it’s an ever present danger.

  11. I am.ashamed to admit no go bag. I do have a binder with our important papers readily accessible and the pet carriers, but that’s it. Hurricane would be the most likely thing to evacuate us

  12. What type of preparedness plans or kits do you have? Not much truth be told.

    What type of emergencies affect your area? Tornadoes hit here and an occasional chemical spill, but not often for either.

    • Tornadoes sound scary. At least they don’t happen often! My friends near Santa Barbara have had fires within a quarter mile of their house a couple summers in a row. Then after fires there are floods.

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