In life, most people have made a decision that we later realize to be wrong. Even so, we choose to live with it. After all, it wasn’t a disaster and no one was hurt. Unfortunately, all decisions are not harm free. We, here on the western slopes of the Sierra, live in a time and place that could present us with choices that could prove deadly. All of a sudden, the old "fork in the road" decision is confronted with a real time catastrophe. The fire for which we have received an evacuation order is behaving erratically. Review in your mind some of the recent large fires- unpredictable and fast moving. Mix in a little panic; a rush to get your most important portable possessions together. The latest word is HURRY, HURRY! Naturally, we assume we know which road leads to safety. Which way do we choose, to the right or to the left, or back where we just came from? A wrong direction could prove fatal. This is not a time for “maybe” or “I think.” What happens if we haven’t paid close attention to information about the fire behavior? If we haven’t studied the Oak to Timberline Fire Safe Council evacuation map that presents the safe road options from our home? In some areas, the decisions don’t appear too difficult. Do I turn right or left when leaving the driveway? Do I head downhill or uphill? In Pinehurst and Miramonte, the choices and roads are few. In Dunlap and Squaw Valley, they become many. It is not a time for being erratic or overconfident in our choices. Our byword is “prepared.” Know that evacuation map. Know your options.
PREPAREDNESS IS OUR ROAD TO SAFETY.