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Fire storm anniversary

By: Irene Hilsendager
October 5, 2018

The anniversary of the wildfire is coming upon us and many families are still not in their new homes. The destructive fire destroyed over 6,200 homes and the deceased ended at 40. 

There are many lots that are still empty and some have half built buildings. Hammers are banging.  Pipes are still being laid. Cement is still being poured. Numbers are still being crunched and insurance companies are trying to do the best for their clients. Some say that only about a fifth of the total homes destroyed are being rebuilt. Many jobs were lost due to businesses burning down-some have not been rebuilt as of yet and some may never. 

As the first anniversary of the fire nears, according to city planners, about 21 homes have been completed but over 500 still remain to be constructed. Another 100 property owners have received permits and should be breaking ground in the near future. Many are still living in rentals or have even sold the empty lots and moved on. Many home owners are still struggling be it with high rentals or arguing with the city and county on permits.

Since we never know when a disaster will strike again, be it fire, earthquake or floods, we must be prepared. Now is a good time to get together a survival kit and keep it in an easy place to find and make sure all other members of the family know where to go and where the kit is kept.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security sent out a list to prepare your survival kit.

You should have enough water on hand for three days to be used for drinking and sanitation.

You should have at least a three- day supply of non- perishable foods.

Make sure you have a battery-powered or hand crank radio.

Flashlights with extra and powerful batteries.

First-aid kits.

A whistle is a good tool to have so you may signal for help.

Duct tape and dust masks are a must. Plastic sheeting may be used for a shelter in place.

Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.

Make sure you keep pliers or a wrench close by to turn off utilities.

Keep a manual can opener for the canned food you have for yourself or pet food.

Keep your cell phone chargers within an arm’s reach along with a back-up battery.

Keep a ditty bag for your prescription medications and pain relievers.

Have a second set of glasses and contact lens solution.

If you have infants, gather formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, and creams.

Pet food and extra water for the pets.

Make sure you have important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof and portable container.

A sleeping bag and warm blankets for each person.

Changes of clothing and extra shoes.

Chlorine bleach and a medicine dropper to disinfect water.

Wrap matches in a waterproof container.

Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items.

Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils.

Paper and pencil

Something to entertain little ones if you are stuck on the road.