Have A Plan

1. Have a Plan. Those of you who know me professionally have heard me talk about this. And “What If” scenarios. Having thought about both, particularly in the event of fire (a fact of where we live), I’d already made up my mind to JUST LEAVE. I don’t know what I don’t know, but I DO know that I don’t know fire. Not a thing about it. So my plan has always been to ESCAPE, stay out of real help’s way, and not panic. (Hint: Having made up my mind to JUST LEAVE helps with the not-panic part.)

2. Be serious about your bugout kit. Have one (don’t just talk about it). Check it. Update it. Be able to GET to it. And have one for the important beings in your life: Peabody has her own, though she’s a little small to carry it by herself. I was able to get Pea, both kits (and mine is comprehensive (= heavy)), and me in the car in about 5 minutes.

3. Have a 3G or 4G capable cell phone. It was vital for getting info, nevermind calls, texts, etc. And even after getting home, when power and phone were’t working, I had a link to others. And keep it charged. You don’t know when you’ll have a chance to charge it again!

4. If you possible can, don’t run out in your flipflops! Get out with as much hard core gear on your person, as you can : boots, clothing with pockets, gloves, hats, eye protection.

5. Extra lights (not just your personal one): even in non-rural areas, you might not have power. You might need lights to guide emergency personnel and vehicles, signal, keep yourself visible while moving about, etc. The key is EXTRA, and in different configurations, in addition to your daily carry light.

6. Firearm: I always have one on an overbelt (which I use everyday when dog-walking). It has a spare light, ammo, loaders, etc. Though I had others as well, I grabbed the overbelt on the way out, and had that much more, all ready to go.

7. Make peace (as is possible) ahead of time with potential losses. Having thought about the possibility of fire before, having executed my plan — and thus having the most important things out with me, I found that I was calm. The prospect of losing the house and its contents was very real (I really believed it was a goner), and not pleasant…but I had already decided, before this ever happened, that I wouldn’t worry about “just stuff.” My dog was safe. I was safe. My neighbors were safe. We’re good. It hadn’t occurred that this would help me, but it made the watching and waiting SO MUCH more bearable!!

8. Be thankful. There is always something to be thankful for. Find it.

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