I'm rarely forthcoming about even our general location, for the obvious privacy reasons, but I want to share what it's like for a real family – mine – to live on the brink of disaster for an extended period of time.
For the past week and a half, we've wondered on a daily basis if THIS will be the day that our home burns to the ground, consumed by wildfire. We've wondered constantly if we will have to evacuate in the midst of cooking dinner, if someone will pound on the door in the middle of the night, or if the fire will jump the creek at the bottom of the next canyon over.
Natural barriers have allowed us a modicum safety, but we've been very watchful. This isn't the usual article about prepping. It doesn't contain a checklist with all of the things you need to pack. There are plenty of those out there. This is a diary of what it's like to live in an area that has been declared a disaster zone, and to be able to see the flames from your porch. It's about the state of being ready for action, but not being able to take it…and instead…just waiting.
It has always been my plan to bug in, but sometimes Mother Nature says otherwise. In situations like this, the most important preparedness skill you can have is adaptability. You have to roll with what comes your way immediately, and resist the urge to grimly stick with Plan A.