• A Firsthand Account of the California Wildfires
    Disaster Preparedness

    Firsthand Account of the California Wildfires

    While I’ve lived through a tornado and a series of riots, I’ve never lived through a wildfire.   The California Camp Fire devastated more than 146,000 ACRES.  Heather Cleek, one of the readers here, lives just 15 miles from Paradise California and has a firsthand account of the fire to share with us today. The day dawned like any other. The sunrise on November 8th brightly illuminated our foothills.  I remember thinking to myself how blessed we were to see such beauty on a cold, autumn day.  Within an hour, I had a phone call from my dad about the thick plume of black smoke coming from “the ridge,” our local nickname for…

  • Disaster Preparedness

    5 Steps to Prepare for a Tornado & Five Steps to Recover from its Aftermath

    I grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania.  Not exactly considered tornado alley, but I can remember two distinct occasions where waterspouts (tornadoes over water) were spotted near our house.  Because we weren’t plagued with tornadoes, we didn’t really even think about tornado preparedness.  Well, my family didn’t think much about preparedness at all.  But that was also thirty to forty years ago when preparedness wasn’t on too many radars. The consequence of not thinking about how to handle a tornado ahead of time was that we really didn’t know what to do quickly.  Fortunately, our house wasn’t hit by THAT tornado.  Fast-forward to Good Friday 2011.  I was six months pregnant…