26 October 2007

Return from Dante's Inferno

Hello everyone,
I am sure that everyone is up to speed on the unbelievable fire devastation in S. California. We decided to cut our trip short and head home...we got home late last night(Thursday), but I promised the kids we would good again soon. The biggest issue down there was the air quality...Sea World, Wild Animal Park, etc, were all closed...it seems until next week. They didn't want to leave the animals out...I thought, "wow, people care more about animals down here than people it seems"...just kidding. I couldn't really figure out why we should stick around and wait, so we packed up and left early Thurday morning.
As we drove home, Jodi took some great footage on the destruction of so many areas....the air was so thick with smoke, that you could only see a couple hundred yards in front of you-pretty gross actually. We had soot and ash covering our car everyday. Everything about the scene was really apocolyptic...serious end of the world-type stuff. I had the chance to talk with many of people at our hotel who had been displaced and were just sitting around, waiting.....
I came to the conclusion that this was a wake up call to me, and hopefully people around the nation. If I had to drop everything and leave in 20 minutes-what would I take? Would I be ready? Would I be able to distinguish between what is most important, and what is frivolous? Well, I am afraid to say that I am grossly unprepared for any kind of event of this magnitude-we have been told time and time again that something big will head to Utah-not if, but when. I wonder how many of us have taken counsel seriously. I have my family decked out with our 72 hour kits, but what about everything else? Pictures, memorabilia, etc. important family documents, etc. I think everyone knows what I am talking about.
So....my challenge to everyone is become prepared....I am sure some family members are more prepared than others- I think of Craig and Amy with the constant threaten of hurricanes in Florida, Mom and Dad with the yearly fires in Farmington-but I think we can all do better. I know I am. Jodi and I have a "renewed" sense of putting our house in order, getting rid of things we simply don't need, decluttering our life, etc. Let me know your thoughts...what really brought it home to me is seeing up close and personal so many people that have been left with nothing....literally nothing. Another thing-these fires didn't consume downtown metros...they literally aboliterated very wealthy, affluent areas...and the wealthy of S. California weren't ready either...

Let's all make a concerted effort this year..



Mama said...

Doug, I am frankly so glad you are back home again. Your experience and sharing it with is was incredible. Thanks so much for your realistic advice to dejunk and make a plan. We have had to think that one through a couple of times. We all know that our computers loaded with valuable information, photos and documents is a "must take" This whole experience has really brought these thoughts home to us. I am anxious to see the photos. Thanks again for your timely advice! xoxooMom

bubblyone said...

Doug--amen--we should make some family goals together and due dates to have them accomplished!

I can't believe what you saw and what is happening to Cali--so sad!

I am so glad you guys are safely home--love you


Mama said...

I think we all have those things going through our minds... what to take, and what to leave. we had a dress rehearsel a couple of years ago, but that was a several hour things. 20 minutes... thats different.
glad your home safe.

Jen said...

or...maybe not leaving your house, but not having your power for a week, like we experienced last winter in seattle...it was freezing, we had a fire place and firewood, but we learned a lot of members in our ward didn't have wood for their fireplaces-or no fireplace at all...how do you keep your family warm when the temp inside your house is 42!! that is how cold it was in our house! that was "outside" our little room with blankets over the doors..but it was a real wake up....no power...it was so bad!!! anyway, glad you are safe and sound!!!