What to know when making wildfire evacuation plan - Tucson News Now

What to know when making wildfire evacuation plan

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
NOGALES, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Nogales Fire Department is pushing out pre-evacuation, evacuation, and safety plans in response to the Sawmill Fire.

NFD Chief Mike McKearney lives in the Rain Valley community, one of the areas evacuated because of the wildfire.

His family was asked to evacuate Tuesday, April 25, and stayed in a hotel until Saturday, April 29.

“This is the first time I’ve been personally evacuated from my home,” McKearney said. In his 20-plus year fire career, he’s never had to be in this situation. Luckily, the fire didn’t damage his property or home.

On Monday night, May 1, he spoke to KOLD News 13 about the fire from both his professional and personal experience.

Officials may give people one or two hours to pack, but what do you bring? What should be a priority?

“You’re going to be overwhelmed. You need to prioritize what you’re going to take,” McKearney said. 

No. 1: Invest in a portable hard drive to save all those irreplaceable pictures. 

“It’s a lot easier to evacuate with than trying to take home your entire personal computer.”

No. 2: Keep important documents like marriage certificates, wills, and car titles in an easy-to-carry fire-proof box.

“If something was to happen to your house, you’re going to need this information to contact your insurance adjuster and get the ball rolling.”

No. 3: Think about how you’re going to transport your pets.

No. 4: Talk about how your family is going to communicate – if cell service goes down.

“You should have a meeting place with your family outside away from your home where your family members know if you do lose communication, you can meet there.” 

No. 5: For insurance purposes – get your valuables on video – so if they are destroyed in a disaster – you can possibly replace them.

“Back that up with serial numbers.”

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