Well, we didn’t expect that.
Lightning theatrics igniting devastating fires in our area thanks to a tropical storm by the name of Fausto, with its excessive heat and moisture. By one count, lightning started over 500 fires in California.
Add that to the list of things to be afraid of this year.
We think it’s safe to say that we are more prepared than we were three years ago, paying more attention to what makes up a red flag warning, and ready to leave if we need to. We have a NOAA weather radio (two actually), packed go-bags, a couple of evacuation plans, extra batteries, an air horn, you name it.
But it never hurts to be reminded how we can be more prepared. Here are a few places to find valuable information.
Update your PG&E Customer Contact Info – This will make sure you get PG&E’s wildfire safety alerts. Go to www.pge.com/mywildfirealerts or call 1-866-743-6589. The utility also has a number of preparedness tips, such as how to make an emergency plan, create defensible space around your home, etc. Take the emergency kit quiz.
CalFire information sources – www.readyforwildfire.org is a good site to learn all you need to do to be Ready, be Set, and Go! They emphasize that when wildfires strike, leave early for your and your family’s safety.
Sonoma County Emergency – An important website to go to is www.socoemergency.org. Here you can sign up for SoCoAlert to be notified by first responders of an emergency situation. Don’t remember if you enrolled? Call 866-939-0911, ext. 9. Or for general SoCoAlert information, call 565-1369.
Also on the county site you can sign up for Nixle to receive email and text messages from local fire and law enforcement agencies, which include public safety as well as emergency information. Go to local.nixle.com/register to sign up, or text your zip code to 888777.
There’s a lot of other important information on www.socoemergency.org so be sure to check it out.
HALTER – www.halterproject.org. What about preparing your animals in case of a wildfire or other emergency? This website will help both your human and animal friends be prepared. This year, the site has additional information on how to prepare for evacuation during a pandemic, including “Ten Tips for Animal Evac During COVID.”
North Bay Mountaintop Camera Feeds – For something a little different, go to www.alertwildfire.org/northbay/index.html?v=81e002f There are live views from places like Sonoma Mountain, Sugarloaf, Atlas Peak, Cobb Mountain, just to name a few. You can play a time lapse from the last 15 minutes up to the last 12 hours.
Plan, prepare, be aware!