Friday, October 26, 2007

California Wildfires

I was listening to a NPR special on the California wildfires the other day and they were interviewing two guys that had returned to their neighborhood to fight some residual hotspots that sprang up after the firefighters had moved on. The guys were using buckets of water from a swimming pool to protect their homes and the homes of their neighbors. Some brainiac from the township had turned off the water supply to the neighborhood so they couldn't use hoses. The interviewer asked the guys why they were doing this. They obviously hadn't slept in several days and one of the guys was in flip flops having melted the soles of his shoes the day before. They didn't know how to reply at first, then one guy said, "I guess because it is the right thing to do. I would hope that my neighbors would do the same thing for me if they were in my shoes." I wonder if he was the guy in the flip flops?

Another story I heard on the news that night was of a couple who returned to their neighborhood to find their home of 20+ years burned completely to the ground. As the stared at the desolate scene they noticed a lumpy blanket laying in their yard out of the way. When they unrolled the blanket they found all of their framed pictures of their family. Apparently one of the fire fighters had had the presence of mind to remove them from the house and put them somewhere safe for the family. The couple expressed their most profound gratitude for the individual who had such kindness and foresight to do something like this.

I just wonder how many of us would be so brave or so thoughtful in a time of crisis? Many of these people were leaving their homes, literally driving through flames to get to safety. What would you do in their position? Do you have your 72 hour kit ready?

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