My Safe Journey
The very first time my parents left my two older brothers and me alone at home for an evening, the house next door burned to the ground. That was decades ago, yet I can still vividly recall the confusion of being awakened by the sound of sirens and the sight of red lights strobing through my purple curtains. I remember cowering under the covers in fear as people banged on our doors and windows to lure us out of the house for safety’s sake. My brothers slept through most of it, and all I could think about was being told not to answer the door for anybody.
Eventually we were led out of the house by a trusted neighbor. I can only imagine what went through the minds of my parents as they returned home, rounding the last corner only to be greeted by the chaos of smoke, flames, fire trucks and police cars.
That haunting memory was rekindled in July while my husband and I were on vacation at our secluded lakeside cabin. We had just enjoyed a quiet morning together, me writing in my journal and him reading the paper, when all hell broke loose.
This time the banging on the door came while I was in the shower. It was a police officer with an urgent warning that a forest fire was fast approaching. She generously gave us fifteen minutes to pack up our belongings and leave. But by the time we got to the car it was too late; the wildfire had engulfed the only road out.
We would have to flee by boat.
People, pets, suitcases and fears all set sail. Even the police officer had to abandon her squad car and board a rescue boat.
The hard work of firefighters, combined with nothing less than a miracle, saved our little cabin. But our neighbors were much less fortunate. Their estate home went up in flames, and they lost everything in less than a minute.
We were evacuated for days, and one of the first things I did when we returned was purchase a small fireproof safe. Although we’ve had a SentrySafe in our urban home for years, we had never even thought of having one at our cottage. I realized from this experience that valuables are valuables no matter where they are, and among ours is one of my most prized possessions – my journal. It harbors my thoughts, hopes, achievements, experiences and insights. My journal is the book of my life, and no insurance policy on earth could ever replace its contents.
Fifteen minutes isn’t enough time. That’s why I urge you to think ahead by making every week Fire Prevention Week. You can do so by developing and practicing a solid evacuation plan (even when you’re on vacation), maintaining your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and organizing your vital papers and possessions for storage in a quality fireproof safe or storage box.
It’s a huge relief to know that now when we’re on the boat, frolicking rather than fleeing, our valuables are securely stowed in a SentrySafe. Thank you for the peace of mind!
©Copyright 2010 | Sue Jacques | All Rights Reserved