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Old 08-23-2015, 10:46 AM   #29
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We almost had to evac 2 weeks ago due to fire. We hooked up the A/S to the truck ready to go and packed valuables/meds/clothes/pet food inside. I keep the A/S pretty well stocked, but now am keeping some clothes in it too. The less I have to pack in an emergency, the better!
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Old 08-23-2015, 01:24 PM   #30
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I've always considered our AS part of our disaster recovery plan. I keep our battery fully charged at all times and our fresh water tank full. Although we are currently experiencing extended drought conditions, our greatest natural threat here in the Sacramento area is a flood (both the American and Sacramento Rivers flow through our area). Current El Nino conditions are setting us up for a repeat of the heavy rains we last saw in 1997 which did result in floods. Fortunately, we'll be able to see this coming with enough notice to bug out in an orderly fashion. With an hour's notice, we can get our AS out of storage and have it loaded with food, clothing, generators, and essentials for an extended stay if needed. I take comfort in knowing we have this backup available if it is needed.
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Old 08-24-2015, 09:32 PM   #31
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Just an update. The fires are upriver a few miles from my home now and the Forest Service is laying hose lines and pumps for each house in case it breaks loose and makes a run. I talked to one person who said my house looked fine and very defensible. He said he wished that they all were as good. That helped how I feel about things. Information on the actual fire location is quite sketchy as they cannot fly due to the smoke and no one knows just where it really is now.

I had gone back today for more meds and med devices I use that I didn't take last week when I left due to the smoke. The smoke was even worse today and I could not stay long. It was very hard to talk or walk any distance. The bad air quality is off the charts they say.

The Airstream remains a great joy of self containment and the Montana Forest Service campground is very nice. The smoke situation here is not great, but a lot better than at home. There is one handicapped spot in the campground with power. The host says I can use it if I need to have the Air Conditioning on, but I think I am ok for now without power. Others might need it more than I do.
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Old 08-25-2015, 06:30 AM   #32
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Stay safe, everyone.


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Old 08-25-2015, 07:13 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by idroba View Post
I had gone back today for more meds and med devices I use that I didn't take last week when I left due to the smoke.
That brings up a very good point. When you bug out for any natural disaster (hurricanes in my case), take all of your meds with you even if you only expect to be gone a couple of days. Not everyone will be as lucky as idroba who was able to go back for his.

It's also a good idea to carry copies of your prescriptions (your doctor can make copies of them for you if you tell him why you want them) just in case you need to get refills someplace you normally don't. That includes eyeglasses or contact lens prescriptions; easier and cheaper to carry a copy of the prescription so you can get new glasses or contacts made anywhere than it is to schedule an appointment with an unfamiliar optometrist or ophthalmologist to get a new prescription wherever you bugged out to. Even if you carry spare glasses, it doesn't hurt to have the prescription too, so that your spares don't become your only glasses.

I also make sure to get my med prescriptions filled at a nationwide pharmacy chain (Walgreen's in my case, used to be Walmart pharmacy before my kid brother's hometown finally got a Walgreen's) because that makes it easier to get refills on the road, whether you're bugged out or just traveling.
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Old 08-25-2015, 07:42 AM   #34
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Rob, I hope the very best for your home and for some reason I think it's going to pull out of these fires. It's lucky your home is on the river for endless supply of water for the U.S. FS pumps. And with Fenn up the road the FS has to consider that area sacred to do everything to stop it. Keeping fingers cirossd for you!
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Old 08-25-2015, 09:05 AM   #35
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Protagonist's post is excellent advice, and I should have considered how long I might have to be away as well as just getting out ASAP. I really did not need the 200 mile round trip back into smoke with less than 1000' visibility. I did learn why the fire information is so poor, no one really can see where it is! We would love some wind to clear out the smoke, but wind causes more fire activity.

I am very grateful for those who work on the fires and hope that their lungs clear well after the events they go through. It is one dangerous and tough job.

I am also grateful that we have the Forest Service doing fire protection for everyone's benefit, both individuals such as myself, and the general public good.

We live in a wonderful country and care about one another.
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Old 08-25-2015, 11:10 AM   #36
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Protagonist's post is excellent advice, and I should have considered how long I might have to be away as well as just getting out ASAP.
Well, Hurricane Katrina taught me that every time you evacuate for a natural disaster, you must assume that you may not even have a home to return to when it's all over. So every evacuation means taking everything that you can't live without. Medications and medical supplies top my list of things I can't live without.
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Old 08-29-2015, 09:17 PM   #37
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Time for another update I guess. I am still out of my home and the fire is still moving. Apparently they are back burning around the homes and have all of them sprinklered via gas pumps sucking water from the river. Unfortunately, very little information is available. The teams are too thinly stretched to spend much time posting on the web very much about the fire.

The big issue is the smoke, which is why I had to leave 10 days ago. The few numbers I have seen put it into the "hazardous" category, which is over 300 units of something or other. Last year a FS monitoring person told me she had measured over 2000 units, and had never seen anything like it. This year the smoke density was the same. The smoke has slopped over the Bitterroot mountains and today drove me from the FS campground I had been staying in. I was in Costco in Missoula about 2 pm and you could even see the haze inside the store (big store, you can see a long ways in it).

I decided to move to another favorite FS campground north of Seeley Lake MT. It was a mistake. Fires here too, and smoke. Tomorrow I am going back south and into central Idaho. There may be some smoke relief there.

I have been holding up pretty well but today was just too much stress. I have to get out of the smoke. I can't go home, my Airstream is my home for a while yet. I just need clean air.

From what I now understand most National Forests in Northern Idaho and state lands plus BLM lands will or are being closed to all uses as of today. They simply cannot risk people being out in the forests at all.

So, although you may not hear much about our disaster, it is quite real and the smoke is affecting people for hundreds of miles. The fires are still burning all over, with little chance of true containment until we get some significant rain, which may be weeks away.

I feel like a drama queen.
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Old 08-29-2015, 10:40 PM   #38
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Thanks for the update. Stay safe and breathe as much non smoke filled air as possible.
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Old 08-30-2015, 07:40 AM   #39
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We are all thinking of you, hang in there Rob. And get the hell out of there and find fresh air!
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:12 AM   #40
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Be safe.
Well now I need to step up my game. Our Bambi is stored about 10 miles from the house, but it is ready to go.

One thing, I know that our 2013 Bambi is already wired for solar, but I have no clue on how to make that work. Can anyone help me out?
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:35 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by idroba View Post

I have been holding up pretty well but today was just too much stress. I have to get out of the smoke. I can't go home, my Airstream is my home for a while yet. I just need clean air.

From what I now understand most National Forests in Northern Idaho and state lands plus BLM lands will or are being closed to all uses as of today. They simply cannot risk people being out in the forests at all.

So, although you may not hear much about our disaster, it is quite real and the smoke is affecting people for hundreds of miles. The fires are still burning all over, with little chance of true containment until we get some significant rain, which may be weeks away.

I feel like a drama queen.


You're not a drama queen.....you very justifiably and predictably need stress relief, after living an ongoing disaster for weeks, now.

Come east a ways........there is no smoke here, bountiful summer produce is in full swing, peaches are ripe in Michigan.....and, it is cool and beautiful in the UP, not so much in the Midwest.

I agree with everything Protag said about meds.

Being able to get your medications wherever you are in the country is very helpful when you travel, but taking more than you need may be the difference between life and death during a natural disaster where even that may not be an option for awhile.

It is now the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and I remember hearing at the time of evacuees separated from their critical medications, who then died without them.

We had a good thread a couple of years ago about Bug-Out Bags.....lots of great info and tips in there....I believe it was in the off-topic forums, which I recall so well because I started this thread, soon after a catastrophic tornado struck about 40 miles from us.

I still keep the Bug-Out Bag packed and ready to go, with a list taped to it of items to grab at the last minute.... like medications.

Take care of yourself, idroba....and think about moving farther east. It would get you into clean air, and away from the periphery, which might settle your stress level a bit.


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Old 08-30-2015, 12:10 PM   #42
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Thanks to all for the kind thoughts. I am going south today. Smoke is better right now, but I am afraid it is just temporary. The fires are still burning. The latest map last night showed the fire directly affecting me to be about a mile and a half from my home, coming my way. I am not really worried about the house, I think it will be OK, but my river valley will take 100 years to grow back to the beauty it had.

It is nice to have the comfort of the known Airstream things which are mine, pots and pans, pills and pillows. Keep your bug out kit active, you never know when it might be needed.
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