Hello readers, in wake of the North Bay fires that happened last week in which one of our fellow PF bloggers, DadsDollarsDebts lost his home and wrote a frightening experience about it. As a fellow blogger and Bay Area resident I feel it’s my duty to join in this great chain of other bloggers with their ways of how to be prepared for an emergency situation:
Anchor 1: DadsDollarsDebt – Tubbs Fire, A Sudden Evacuation
Anchor 2: Chief Mom Officer – Going Beyond The Emergency Fund-A Harrowing Escape Inspires The Personal Finance Community
Link 1: OthalaFehu – Cool As A Cucumber
Link 2: The Retirement Manifesto – Am I A Prepper?
Link 3: Mrs. Retire to Roots – In Case Of Emergency Follow The Plan
Link 4: The Lady In Black – Emergency Preparedness
Link 5: The Green Swan – Preparing for the Worst: My Emergency Story
Link 6: Minafi – Minimal Hurricane Preparation
Link 7: A Gai Shan Life – Earthquake and Natural Disaster Preparedness
Link 8: The Financial Journeyman – Emergency Preparation: Be Proactive
Link 9: John & Jane Doe Guide to Money – Thinking the Worst: Emergency Planning or Fighting the Last War?
Link 10: Adventure Rich – Emergency Preparation Up North
Link 12: Crispy Doc – Fighting Fire With FI/RE
Link 13: She Picks Up Pennies – How Can a Planner Be Unprepared?
Link 14: Chronicles of a Father with Cents – Getting Ready for a Natural Disaster
Link 15: Rogue Dad MD – Disrupting the Equilibrium
Link 16: Unique Gifter – 10 Ways You Can Help Victims of Natural Disasters
Link 17: SomeRandomGuyOnline – Friday Blog Roundup – Emergency Preparedness Edition
Link 18: 99to1percent – 15 Frugal Ways To Prepare For An Emergency
Link 19: Thinking of Someday – Are You Prepared For When An Emergency Occurs?
Link 20: I Dream of FIRE – Your house is burning and you can only save 10 things – what do you choose?
Link 21: Full Time Finance – Emergency Preparedness in Place
My Experience with Natural Disasters
Growing up in the Bay Area not only we had fire drills at schools where all the students would evacuate outside but also earthquake drills. Throughout grade school, we would have one earthquake drill every school year. Once the bell rings in which it would go on and off for about thirty seconds, us students would go under our desk, fold our hands together and put them over our heads. The theme was ‘duck and cover’ so if an earthquake were to happen we would cover ourselves under the table and we would prevent from getting hit at any falling objects such as the lights or broken glass.
It was a good thing we prepared because in 1989, a 7.1 earthquake hit the Bay Area. I was in middle school and was getting ready to watch the World Series between the two Bay Area teams, the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s. As I was watching the pregame show with my brother, sister, and grandparents the windows in our living room was making some sort of constant noise and the cabinets in our house was starting to open on their own. Once we saw that, my sister, brother and I went under to our dining room table and just ducked. We knew this is the earthquake that we prepared for at school. I believe the shaking lasted almost a whole minute and once it was over the power went out, neighbors started to go outside and see if everyone was okay and my dad called us from work about a few minutes after to check if we were okay. My mom had just gotten off work when it happened and came home about an hour after the quake. Fortunately the buses were still running after the quake and she took it home. We came out okay along with our house but other Bay Area residents did not. I grabbed our battery powered radio and turned on the news radio station about an hour after the quake and heard about the fires, freeways collapse, and portion of the infamous Bay Bridge collapsing. It was a sad and unforgettable day in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Volunteering to Help in Natural Disasters
In 2014, Mother with Cents and I were encourage by my in-laws to join this this group called Neighborhood Emergency Response Team, or NERT which is a training program for individuals and communities in San Francisco where you learn the basics or preparedness and prevention in any natural disaster. This program was created in response to the 1989 earthquake so any San Francisco resident can volunteer and be trained to a personal emergency as well as act as members of a neighborhood response team.
So both us joined the training program and it was a 20 hour training program broken up into six courses where they trained us in various ways to help out victims in a fire, earthquake and terrorist attack. We learned a lot from it like triaging, how to put out a fire with an extinguisher, awareness of hazardous materials, searching patterns when looking for victims in a disaster and how to treat victims. It’s a great training program and encourage others in your area to get into a program as well. When a disaster strikes we have to take care of ourselves first and know that our family and home is okay. If/Once everything is okay then we are available to volunteer in our community to help out. This is a way for victims of disasters to receive immediate assistant before the pros like the firefighters, first responders and police step in.
Are We Prepared?
The wildfires in the North Bay was a wake up call for us. After reading DadsDollarsDebt post, we are getting prepared for any disaster that comes our way. Here is what we have prepared so far:
- Water bottles
- Battery powered radio
- Important documents(birth certificates, copies of social security cards and passports) backed up on the cloud drive
- Diapers for Baby with Cents
- Back up phone chargers
- Sleeping bag
- Bulk of oatmeal
- Propane stove
- Propane tanks
- Cast Iron Pan
We are looking into getting a fireproof safe so we can store important hard copy documents like the social security cards, backup keys and insurance forms. Most of our pictures we have taken the last few years especially with Baby with Cents are backed up in both an external drive and on the cloud. So in terms of sentimental value, we are have our pictures backed up.
You never know when a disaster strikes, the best thing is to be prepared for it and with so many unfortunate incidents happening recently it’s definitely a huge wake-up for us.
Thanks for the PF Community
Wanted to say thanks for our tight knit PF community for bringing awareness to this and like how we all like preparing our finances, we should prepare for any type of disasters that come our way.
Have I missed anything in preparing for a disaster? What do you do to prepare? Any natural disasters that can occur in your area?