Right when we thought 2020 couldn’t get any crazier, we realized we had yet to enter wildfire season. As I am writing this, the Valley Fire in the Alpine area is less than 15% contained and the damage is over 1700 acres. Unfortunately, this is not something new to California, let alone Southern California. Many of you have shared images from your POV on the fire whether it be flames lighting the night, relief aircraft flying overhead, or smoke-filled skies giving our sunsets a haze we wish wasn’t there as our air quality lessens. As we fear for our neighbors to the east, our hearts our heavy and our anxiety levels are high, some even experiencing a bit of PTSD from 2003’s Cedar Fire, 2007’s Harris and Witch fires, or many others in between... although there have been many, we can’t help but feel helpless as we encounter this once again.
However, helplessness is a feeling in which we can overcome. I am obnoxiously obsessed with fixing problems, even if on a micro-level. My suggestions for you, your business and your family: EDUCATE, PREPARE, STAY ALERT!
EDUCATE yourself by checking out some local resources from SDG&E on their website HERE regarding wildfire safety plans. PREPARE yourself by having emergency items ready to go. I saw a list HERE that could be helpful depending on the amount of time you have to prepare (remember, it’s never too soon to start planning!). STAY ALERT by being ready to receive emergency communications. Keep your cell phone handy and charged up and check updates on social media channels from local government agencies, utility companies and healthcare facilities.
We are all here to support one another! if you see a need you can fill, help out where you can. If there is assistance you are needing, reach out and let a neighbor help you. I have a huge amount of respect for all emergency personnel who are working on all levels to mitigate the damage from these fires and respond to that which has already happened. Our very own Santee Firefighters have been assigned to at least three separate strike teams at this point. Pictured is Santee Firefighter/Paramedic Barrett Kemp as he battles flames on the Valley Fire. We can’t thank these heroes enough for what they do for us.
Stay safe, everyone.