Yesterday afternoon there was a grass fire that started up near the airport here in Midland. That's a pretty good distance to where we live. Midland has been so dry this year it has been unbelievable. I think the total of rainfall right now is only 2/10th of an inch. Now combine that with 50 mph wind gusts and that fire gets pretty big pretty quickly.
The fire headed our way to Midland and got pretty close to our house a couple of times. We were part of a neighborhood that was evacuated because the fire was so close. Scott and I were both at work when we found out about the fire and we knew we needed to head home quickly so we could gather up a few belongings and to try and get our dog. Luckily we got there at a good time that we were able to get to our house. The police had only blocked off the main roads and we were able to use neighborhood roads to get to our house.
When we got home we quickly got to work on gathering things. I went inside the house to get the dog and to start packing clothes, treasures, scriptures, etc. Scott was outside watering down the lawn and the house. Just to give you an idea of how bad it was, the sky was completely brown. The ashes were being blown everywhere. We were covered from head to foot with ash. (We will probably be cleaning it out of our eyes, ears, mouth, and nose for a week). In those few short minutes we had to decide what to take and what we could live without if we weren't able to return. While Scott and I were gathering a few last minute things we got a loud pounding on the door from a police officer letting us know to get out of the area as quickly as we can.
We loaded up our car with what few possessions we didn't want to lose and headed towards Scott's parents house. It was so hard to drive away from our first home that we have lived in for about 2 months now not knowing if we would be able to return to it again. We said a lot of prayers that night and we were able to turn it over to Lord knowing that His will would be done.
We were evacuated from our house for about 1-2 hours. It was the longest wait of my life....We watched the news the whole time hoping to find new information on the fire and to see what the outcome was for all the houses in the area that was evacuated. Luckily we finally got our answer that all evacuees would be let back in. We headed back to our house grateful for the outcome.
Here are a few pictures that I took on my phone once we got back home:
I took this picture from our driveway.
This is ash in front of our front door. We also have ash
all over our lawn and some came into our house where
our windows weren't sealed very well.
Overall, there is one thing that I have learned from this experience....that we have a lot to do to prepare ourselves for disasters like this. Here are things that would have helped a lot:
1. 72 hour kits in a backpack with clothing, toiletries, etc. already to go.
2. All pictures on cds or an external hard drive so you can easily grab and go.
3. Items that you would take with you together in one place instead of spread around.
I definitely know that we will be preparing ourselves better for things to come. You never know when situations like this come your way and you need to be prepared because tomorrow may be too late. I hope this experience that we are sharing with each of you helps you to start thinking what you would need to prepare and that you all can learn from this experience. We are very grateful that everything turned out the way it did and everything was safe and we had a home to return to. Our Heavenly Father blessed us in many ways yesterday that we are very grateful for.
My questions I have for each of you is this:
1. What would you take?
2. Are you really prepared?