My state, Oregon, is being devastate by wildfires. California and Washington and other states are in the same boat. This has made me realize that I need to be prepared for an emergency. My friends that had to evacuate had less than 5 minutes warning. Here are some steps that I am taking to be prepared.
Pack a bag of essentials, including medications, masks, hand sanitizer, clean underwear, toothbrush and toothpaste. I have my passport, id, cash, insurance cards and credit cards ready to go. Have laptop, phone and chargers organized and ready to grab.
I put some emergency snacks and water bottles in my car. I'm also stashing my sleeping bag and small pillow in the trunk. I also have flashlight, emergency road kit (flares and jumper cables etc.), and first aid kit in the car.
Take photos of your home, exterior and each room, and copy to a flash drive or other storage device.
I signed up to my county's emergency notifications. I was on their list under my old land line. I did not realize that my cell phone, which now is my only phone, was not in their system. They have an automated alert system, but they have to have your phone number for it to work.
We are expecting extremely hazardous smoke conditions for the next few days. I have a HEPA filter in my bedroom, which helps. And I found on-line instructions for creating a simple and inexpensive air filter suitable for a single room. That will increase my comfort level in my home. Here is the link if you are in the same situation and need an air filter.
I am very grateful that my city has not been hit by the fires (yet). Our area is serving as a place for evacuees from nearby small cities in the mountains, some of which have been destroyed. I am glad that the Red Cross is putting people up in hotels instead of barracks at the county fair; the hotels are much safer in this pandemic. This is a very dangerous fire year; it looks like an inferno in far too many locations.
I know that many other areas face other disasters and emergencies, such as hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes. I thought I would share what I am doing to be prepared. And I am interested if you have other tips and suggestions.