Solutions that have proved surprisingly essential during California’s wildfires
In my post yesterday Survival Learnings From A California Fire Evacuee, I promised to share the specific resources that have proved especially valuable during my family’s emergency evacuation due to the Kincade fire. So I’d better get to it…
Gas & Cash
Having now been surprised by two massive fires within the past two years, in both instances, the preparation I was most immediately grateful for — hands down — was having sufficient on-property stores of gasoline and cash.
The moment your community realizes that flight may be necessary, forget going to the gas station. In my area, the lines were 20+ cars deep.
Waiting in those kind of lines (when there’s no guarantee there will be gas left when your turn finally comes) can easily cause you to miss your window of safety. As I mentioned yesterday, my friends who tried to evacuate just 45 minutes after I did eventually had to turn back home because the roads out of town had become hopelessly gridlocked.
So get in the habit of keeping your cars’ fuel tanks topped off, especially during times of seasonal risk (fire season, hurricane season, flood season, etc). Make it a point never to return home with the gauge below half-full.
Also, keep at least a tank’s-worth of gasoline stored on your property. In my case, I have four 5-gallon gas cans. This ensures I can get to safety even if I’ve forgotten to keep the car tank full. And if I’ve remembered, I can throw the cans in the car for an extra 300+ miles of range.
Similarly, once the electricity goes out, the ATMs stop working. Having $500-$3,000 of emergency cash on hand to take with you makes a huge difference.
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