Last night, around 11pm, I heard a popping sound outside. Carter jumped up to see what it was and yelled “oh my God, the woods are on fire.” His reaction was so frightening that I immediately jumped into emergency mode. We live on a wooded hillside, surrounded by pine trees and pine straw, and if you live in NC, you know it’s been a little dry around here for the past year. All I could think of was the brush fires of California and how fire sweeps quickly down a hillside. I truly thought “this is it, the house is a goner.”
The fire trucks were already there and more were on their way. I called 911 nonetheless, hoping they’d send someone to shoot water from our side of the fire. I then grabbed my kids (and woke my sister-in-law and her daughter who are visiting), my cat, my wedding ring and the backup drive for my computer and put everyone/thing in the car. I don’t know where I thought we were going, but I just wanted to get far away from the fire, and fast.
Fortunately, the fire was put out, and this morning, upon assessment, it was further from our house than it looked (tall flames engulfing trees look really big and scary at 11pm at night!). I didn’t sleep much last night–I kept getting up to make sure the fire was out. And in fact, this morning, it was still burning and looks to have taken a house/structure with it. I’ve spent most of the day thinking about fire and disasters and how I reacted. I certainly knew the important stuff to grab (kids and cat). Everything else is replaceable. As an organizer, I know how important it is to think about disaster preparation and knowing what you need to take in an emergency. Admittedly, I’ve never put a “kit” together for my family. I love our home, and a lot of the things in it. But last night, all I cared about was sitting in our Nissan, ready to move on to safety.
What would you grab in an emergency? If you have a good list, share it here!