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Jeruba's avatar

Have you ever had to evacuate? Tell us about it.

Asked by Jeruba (52851points) October 24th, 2020

When and why? What geographic area were you in?

How much notice did you have? Where did you go?

Did you take, pack, or grab the right things?

Did you get to go back home afterward? and after how long?

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12 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

My parents have a beach house on Fire Island, and there were a few times as a young person that I remember that we had to evacuate because of hurricane warnings. It was never really dire, being not the primary residence, and having so much advance warning. Hurricanes are devastating, but the approach is obvious and lengthy.

I’m thinking that this may not be what you mean.

Are you still 7nde4 evac warn8ng where you are, @Jeruba?

ragingloli's avatar

Only during fire drills at school.
A few years ago, they found an unexploded WW2 bomb in our town.
Not sure if they defused the bomb before I got home from work, or if I was outside the predicted blast radius, but I was unaffected.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

In 2017 our whole town was evacuated because of a bad forest fire heading at us, we were out for 11 days stayed with relatives three hours away.
No houses in town were lost but they did lose houses just out of town.

janbb's avatar

I wasn’t forced to evacuate but when Sandy was coming in, I went to sleep over at a friend’s a mile further inland. When I went back to my house a day later, there was some damage to the garage and the siding and the power was out – and stayed out for 12 days. There were trees down all over the neighborhood. This was 10 months after my Ex had moved out.

Dutchess_III's avatar

When I was a kid in Florida we had to evacuate due to a hurricane. It felt like a great adventure to me!

chyna's avatar

Yes. One of the chemical plants in my town was found to have buried chemical tanks on their property, polluting the ground and river in our town. Hazmat came in and was going to dig up the entire area to remove the tanks, but they evacuated the entire town first. I think this was in 2000. We went to another town and shopped all day. Nothing exploded.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

Does grabbing Sadie and fleeing a home fire count as an evacuation?

Jeruba's avatar

@Love_my_doggie, yes, absolutely. Maybe not the same way as fleeing a fire that’s coming across the hills from thousands of burning acres to the north, east, and south, but you evacuated, all right. Did you suffer a big loss?

@canidmajor, taking your question to mean am I still under evac warning, presumably from the California fires, no. For several weeks we were. I tried to prepare, packed up essentials (toothpaste and deodorant, phone and Kindle chargers, meds), thought about where to go. Kept adding to essentials while “where to go” kept shrinking. Basically we were being closed in on three sides by fires, and the fourth side was the ocean. Anyone we might go to was in the same situation as we were, or else there was a fire between us and them.

No matter how thoughtfully I packed (not a good bet with a panicky mind anyway), I couldn’t figure out how we’d get my husband and all his O2 and other medical gear anywhere. Food for a week? Not after all the tanks and portable devices and backpacks with essentials were in the car, not to mention jackets and blankets and a change of clothes and shoes and a water supply.

I figured we were goners if it came to that. Maybe my sons would have got out ok. At that point I put my energy into (a) writing some things down, (b) hanging tough, and (c) denial, a much underrated valuable resource.

Hence my question: Who has really done it, and what was that like, and how did it turn out?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Does running to the basement because of a tornado count as evacuating?

Love_my_doggie's avatar

@Jeruba ” evacuated, all right. Did you suffer a big loss?”

Friday, August 11, 2017, approximately 11:15 a.m. (I was dressed for my noontime Spin class). I heard someone outside yell, “There’s a dog in there,” so I went to my front door to investigate. There was a small crowd assembling, and flames and heavy smoke were coming out of the upstairs windows.

At least Sadie and I got out safely. Martin, the cat, hid under the bed and likely saved his own life; he was protected from all the smoke and soot.

I live in an urban condo. I didn’t start the fire; another building resident was the cause. He’s odd, to put it mildly, and a high-level hoarder. His entire condo unit had been stacked, from floor to ceiling, with books and papers, with pathways among the piles and extension cords beneath them. An electrical fire began, and it was as if someone had tossed a match into a haystack.

We were displaced for an entire year. We lost much of our property and suffered extreme financial and emotional hardship. Three years later, we’re still dealing with unresolved problems.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Once I was sitting on the couch when out of the corner of my eye a saw a big black guy vault onto the railing of our front deck and from there onto the roof. Then a bunch more people showed up. I was like…WTF??? Our chimney was flaming! Thanks to them we got it put out.
However, generally speaking I don’t care for big black guys to be vaulting about my house. ~

smudges's avatar

Actually, I’m in a motel right now and have been since October 9th due to an apartment fire. Two units in my building burned. My apt was fine, but all of us are having to move out permanently; total of 12 units. Firemen led me out with a shirt over my face from the second floor.

Looks like I’ll be approved for an apt next week. I’m so grateful to have my possessions spared. I can’t imagine losing everything.

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