Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What a Perspective

September 4, 2011 a fire broke out within two miles from our house.  Thank God the wind was from the NE and did not blow it in our direction.  It is known as the Clemanis, Aster, or Dahlia rd Fire depending on who you talk to.  I was shaking all day long while I was trying to figure out how to evacuate myself and my animals with only a prius.  I know, when we bought it we didn't know we were moving out here.  We still lived in North Texas.

MDR, I have learned from you however dang if I had not put in in place.  Procrastination can be your enemy.  Other than lives I had no clue what I wanted to take with us.  What was really important to try and get it ready to be loaded along with whatever animals we could take?  I realized in the real life situation that your choices change.  I didn't go for pictures.  I got the rifle that was my biological fathers and my handgun, meds, "the flashlight" (Blackhawk), computer backup hard drive and that was pretty much it.  My main focus was on us and the animals.

That leaves me to the dilemma of how to actually pack the bag.  Depending on the emergency would depend on what to have in the bag.  Guess I will be pondering this and sorting out what is truly important.

Another thing that happened as a result of the fire outbreaks is I started 3 pages on Facebook.  After the first day being once again frustrated at the media's lack of coverage of the area to notify people of important information that they needed in order to keep themselves as well as their loved ones safe.

Upshur County Emergency Citizen Communications

Upshur County Citizens Volunteering Evacuation Assistance

Upshur County After Emergency Donations

In our area the media coverage is sloppy to say the least.  I have a computer and a scanner so I went to work.  With the help of others who joined the page we were able to keep the public informed enough to ease their panic.  It was also a good channel for all my stressed out energy for having a fire so close to me as well as other family members here in the area.  I think all Counties would benefit from pages like at least the upper two.

During the past 4 days we have covered the following fires:
Clemanis/Dahlia/Aster Fire
Diana Fire

Llama Rd Fire
Toad Rd Fire

All fires at this time are contained.  The Diana fire is the only one active.  The rest are just hot coals that have and still can flare up.  Thank God the wind has died down.

Our prayers now go out to Cass/Marion County.  This fire is out of control.  Responders are protecting lives and structures at this time and are allowing it to burn its self out.  There will be much devastation.

There are also fires in the counties to our south in Gregg, Smith, and Rusk.  Unknown containment at this time however my parents live in Gregg.  The community where I grew up has seen a lot of damage due to a wildfire there as well as a girl I grew up with lost her 18 month old granddaughter to the fire just a few days ago.

Keep Texas in your prayers.  Thank the many men and women both on the line, on the sideline, and the home front for their sacrifices.  Be grateful for your local VFD.  They are wonderful people doing a dangerous job.   Many of the ones around here have depleted their budget and they are in need of gas money in order to keep doing what they are doing.  Let us not forget those people who are there for us when we need them most.

God bless you all.


  1. Indeed fire is my biggest threat at the moment. My bag has not changed from the time I packed it for Fire and Tornado evacuations. The only time I will change it is during the winter months to have more hand warmers and blankets on hand. I also keep tarps and blankets with a change of cloths in the truck at all times.

    You did say one thing that has slipped my mind and thank you for it. The backup hard drive. I have a stick but have not packed it. It has all my pictures, budget and many other things on it I would not know what to do without. Great idea.

    Don't let the contents of your bag drag you down. When I first filled mine I had the mind set of a three day camp out. I packed it like I had nothing to start with and was dropped on the camp site with just my bag and told to live. Hopefully you will never have to use it.

    Next have an evacuation plan laid out with a meet up place for the loved ones. Ours includes the animals as well. If the house is fully engulfed in flames then the protocol is to just leave open the back gate on our way out.
    Our meeting place is conveniently located so all the kids are in walking distance from their work.
    We also went as far as to set up a temporarily housing location where food and supplies are buried in a secret location for convenience.
    Extreme, maybe. Can I sleep better knowing a system is set in place, yes.

    I care about the animals we have on the Mini Farm but in a extreme situation I would not hesitate to leave them. We understand in a tornado, there will be no time to get them to safety and safe ourselves.

    I hope this helps and good luck to ya out there. We are not to far away so if you need to house some animals, then my pasture is open to yall.

  2. Thank you MDR for the offer. Like you I hope I never have to use it.

    I forgot to mention something that was posted on FB. If you have to leave your animals behind, take off the nylon collars and harnesses as they melt with extreme heat. They say to spray paint you phone number on your animals for later retrieval after the emergency is over.