Not an uncommon noise given we live two blocks off the main road in our town.
What is uncommon is to hear a steady succession of sirens – firetrucks, ambulances, police cars. The only other time during the year when this is not a cause of alarm is during the annual Santa Firetruck Parade. But that happens in December.
Not on a random Monday night in March.
Not at 8:20pm.
I was nearing the end of my Facebook LIVE presentation when I heard them and realized I kept hearing them, the sirens of all kinds. Once I ended the video, I opened up Facebook and posted –
“Hey BSL friends, what’s up with all the sirens?”
Not one to sit and wait for a response, I walked from the office through the living room and out the front door. I scanned the sky from left to right and felt my heart skip a beat –
the sky to my right was bright orange!
My brain engaged – A HOUSE FIRE! I ran back inside and asked my husband to come and look – I knew what I saw but wanted verification. He confirmed that there was indeed a fire! Then, I grabbed my keys and said, “I’m going that way, I have my phone”
My husband said something like, “Don’t get in trouble” – he tends to be the calm, cool and collected one in these situations. I am the “spring to action” type even though I don’t know what is going on. As I went to the car, I could still hear sirens. I quickly ran through a scenario – assuming it was a house fire – I would drive to the end of my street and see if I could figure out what was going on.
Oh, but wait.
My car might be in the way.
So, I opted to walk. I could see the fire high in the sky from my house so I knew it was close so I texted my friend who lives at the end of my street and took off towards her house.
Upon arriving, a found out that it wasn’t a house fire but a forest fire. The good news is that it wasn’t someone’s home, the bad news is that the forest was on fire!
Yes, although we live in a neighborhood, we basically live in a forest – there are acres of protected land all around our neighborhood. This is where the fire was and it was so large it had grown to the tops of the trees. It was a scary scene.
We found out from one of the neighbors that a similar situation happened years ago – before we moved here. There was a forest fire and they had to evacuate.
That word is a scary word. It’s usually one we deal with during Hurricane season but we have plenty of time to prepare for an evacuation order. A forest fire? Not so much.
I quickly ran through the scenario if we had to leave our home because of this fire. We have an evacuation plan for a Hurricane but not for a forest fire.
The logistics of getting four dogs, some essential things and one boy (the other was spending the night at his grandparents’ house) would be the hard part, especially on a moments notice. It was a few stressful moments as I leaped to the “worst case scenario” conclusion.
You know what I was NOT stressing about?
Our homeowners’ insurance.
Our emergency fund in case we did have to board the dogs at a kennel and stay at a hotel.
Where all of our important papers were.
Fortunately, we did not have to evacuate. The firefighters and forestry service were able to contain the fire. One of the ways they did that was to set a perimeter fire. I can walk to the end of the street where the perimeter fire was set. That’s a little too close to home.
However, this event was a good reminder of always being prepared. It’s a good reminder to make sure all of the insurances are up to date, the emergency fund is established and there is a system of knowing where all of the important documents are kept.
Would you be ready to evacuate your home with very little notice?
My challenge to you this week is to gather all of your information and put it in a file box. The box should be readily accessible in case you have to “grab and go”.
What goes in the file box? This list from Dave Ramsey is a good reference point.
Being prepared is part of your overall financial plan. It’s your responsibility to get it done!