‘Fire Team’ Results from Mock Evac
After the October 2017 Lobo Fire evacuation, I realized I did not know how to evacuate, was not prepared and needed help! I asked my friends and neighbors if they wanted to gather and learn together. We are six families now called the “Fire Team” and have been meeting about every month for over a year.
Our first topic is about our recent mock evacuation and what we learned. Fred Huberty came up with the idea. Fred sent us a text message saying “Get Ready,” using our recently developed cell phone communication plan.
Later that day we got the text message “TO GO”.
All of us quickly met in his driveway and drove like a caravan out the North Gate turning right on Pleasant Valley Road, then right on Britney Springs Road. The road was new to some of us. Becky Thompson said “We learned the road was a good two-lane paved road but curvy with short uneven shoulders at times and it was a long ride to Rough and Ready Highway.” The good thing is we now know more about the road.
The drill showed us that it takes longer than you think to get all your pre-packed Go Bags, Pet Go Bags, water, etc. into the car and exactly what you want by your side or in the trunk. Hal and Barb Tiegs successfully packed up special go bags for their two dogs.
Remember that scary evacuation notice for the Lobo Fire was in the middle of the night and we had no electricity and we were sleepy just being jarred awake with an emergency . Annette Huberty says “The drill encouraged us to practice more evacuations routes and that we could do it alone or with our Fire Team.”
In the future, we will be doing more route drills outside of LWW like Mooney Flat Road off of Pleasant Valley Road. For inside LWW there is a fantastic LWW Evacuation Map on the LWW website http://www.lwwa.org, then go to “Emergency/Fire Preparedness” then scroll down and open the box labeled “Evacuation Map.” I suggest driving these two “emergency” routes.
The first one is at the North end; take Lake Wildwood Drive to the end where it connects to Fair Oaks Road where you will see a locked fence. The second one, take Lake Wildwood Drive to Sun Forest Drive and right after Incense Drive the next “unmarked” road is to the NID water tank which also has a locked fence. These “emergency exits” will be unlocked depending upon where the fire is coming from. It is good to take a physical look at their locations before an emergency. Fred and a few of our guys checked out Minnow Road going backward from Rough & Ready Hwy. to Minnow Road. The road is an unpaved, single, bumpy, dirt road going through private property with lots of turns. At this time, Minnow Road is a last resort and is being reviewed for future improvements.
Our new “text messaging” group cell phone system worked flawlessly. We connected with the entire 12 team members within moments and were on our way. Back in the Lobo fire evacuation, Loel Miller ran around pounding on front doors waking us up in the middle of the night to evacuate, taking lots of time. It was this slow communication system that plunged all of us into getting together and developing a plan so “NO ONE” would be left behind.
Also, back then all of us had not signed up for the Code Red alert or even knew about it. Ron and Rhonda Yates shared after our “mock” evacuation test that “the drill surprised us emotionally. When we get the Code Red, we are going to evacuate immediately.”
I was asking around “Are you signed up for Code Red?” and some people said “What is that?” We recommend you register to receive all possible alert notifications including: SMS/text, email, landline phone, cell phone, and TTY.
Code Red alerts will display as originating from 866-419-5000 or 855-969-4636 on your caller ID. Please add these numbers to your cell phone contacts. To sign up for Code Red, go to our LWW website, or our e-bits newsletter or http://www.areyoufiresafe.com or call 211 Connecting Point toll free at 1-833-342-5211, press 2 for assistance.
The next test results were the garage doors. Before the outing, we all made sure both the guys and the gals could open the garage doors without electricity. We modified our garage doors to work without electricity. We made long “manual” garage door release cords and put handles on the inside of the door to help lift the heavy door, etc.
For more information, visit: http://www.mynevadacounty.com/2707/ReadyNevadaCounty and http://www.areyoufiresafe.com/
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