On Fires & Empathy

by Tammy Strobel on September 16, 2014

I took this photo at my sister-in-law's family home. It burned down in mid-July of 2014.

On Monday, September 15th, a fire devastated Weed, California. According to the LA Times, “More than 1,500 residents were evacuated to the Siskiyou County fairgrounds as the Boles fire, last reported at 350 acres, tore through the town. Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said the flames were fueled by 40 mph winds and dry conditions.”

Weed is 40 miles south of our home and I drive to Weed — and Mt. Shasta — frequently to visit my pals. Also, a few family members work at the College of the Siskiyous (COS) and a good friend lives in the City of Weed.

I empathize with this tiny town because something similar could happen to any community. And I have to admit, the fires have made me anxious. I can’t control mother nature or rebuild the homes that were lost in the Weed fire. Those things are out of my control.

However, I did two things that made me feel better about the circumstance. I made sure we had our emergency backpacks and extra water in the car (just in case we have to leave fast). I also gave a cash donation to the Shasta Regional Foundation which “will provide assistance to the families, nonprofits and organizations impacted by the Boles Fire in Weed.”

Writing and tweeting about fires isn’t inspiring. It would be easy not to share this information and pretend like everything is picture perfect. Nevertheless, I believe it’s important to talk about these types of disasters. Even if you aren’t effected by the fires in Northern California, it’s essential to prepare for an emergency and be aware of what is going on around you.

Be well,
Tammy

For further resources on emergency preparedness, check out these websites and resources:

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