Over the last week we have all watched the Taylor Bridge Fire develop. It grew with shocking speed Monday night. The media reported the fire crews had a difficult time with this fire. Heat and terrain were tough to overcome.
We have heard the stories of folks who lost everything because they only had minutes to evacuate. We learned the difference between a level 1 and a level 3 evacuation notice.
We all have watched as firefighters and equipment from all over the State have converged on this fire. These crews include firefighters from Woodinville and Duvall. The current count is over 900! Kind of amazing isn’t it?
Have any of us thought about this kind of situation happening here?
We have had a “red flag warning” in King County for 3 days now. Have you done anything differently?
Really? Nothing? Of course, we live on the west side of the state, a wild-land fire couldn’t happen here. It’s not possible, it never gets hot enough here. We had a wet spring so the grass and brush will never dry out.
So there is no reason to have a plan right? Ask the folks who lost their homes in this fire. What would you take if you had 5-10 minutes to leave? Not going to leave? Have you discussed your decision with your family?
So you haven’t talked about your plan. Okay what about a “disaster kit” in your car? No kit? How do you expect to “survive” until you can get to an evacuation point or a shelter? Do you have a copy of your prescriptions or at least 3 days of medicines with you? Do you have any plan for meeting your family members? Have you even thought of an “out-of-state contact” so you and your family can check-in?
Okay, maybe you are thinking what can I do? You could donate to the fire relief funds or donate clothing, non-perishable food or even food for the displaced animals.
In addition to helping the folks affected by this disaster maybe you could update your first aid and CPR skills. You could take CERT training. Sure you’ve seen the stories about CERT.
Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) are formed by family members, neighbors or even co-workers to assist in the event of a disaster. The training allows folks to be more self-sufficient. This training can allow our first responders to concentrate their efforts toward more serious situations.
Wild fires of this magnitude might not happen here but what about wind storms, earthquakes, or even a hazardous materials spill?
The Taylor Bridge fire should be our wake-up call to get better prepared, so make a plan, get a kit, and get involved.
- Kevin J. Coughlin