I was listening to As It Happens on CBC Radio last night at dinner time (yes - I think you all will come to realise by now - I am a big supporter of public radio). There was an interview done with Lynne Derwin and her husband from the Yarra Valley, one of the key wine-growing regions of Australia. The bushfires that Australia has been experiencing the past week have been devastating to that country. Many lives have been lost as well as those that have managed to survive along with the loss of their homes/livelyhood/possessions. Now, five days later with 22 confirmed dead in her area - all they have is each other.
Listening to her talk about her drive down the street to safety - with kangaroos flying left, right and centre as they tried to escape the heat and flames plays a horrific picture in my mind! She said if one kangaroo had bounced off her small car (Prelude) - she would have been toast! Here's is the link if you wish to listen to the interview – you’ll find it near the 18:30 mark - http://www.cbc.ca/mrl3/8752/asithappens/20090212-aih-1.wmv
Ms. Derwin was saying that the fire came on so quickly with next to no warning - that she didn't even have time to collect what she said was silly things - like jewelry, etc. She said in the panic to escape - one doesn't think of things like that - you're instinct is basically one of survival. One thing she did warn listeners on the radio - make sure you are prepared for a disaster – be organised so that you can get out as safely and quickly as possible.
I think we would all like to be this prepared for an event like this - have our CD's of precious family photos/music all in one spot - along with grabbing the children / pets / whatever. I'm shaking my head as I type this out - thinking - "I don't think I could do it". Having experienced the Ice Storm here in Quebec 10 years ago was a wake up call for many of us - but when it comes to a fire – I don’t even want to think about the consequences. I'm hoping that when/if I ever have to face this sort of thing - that for some reason - I don't go into panic stage - and suddenly become calm and collective.
One thing I was talking to Mike (my main squeeze) after the radio interview is all my meds that I now have associated with aging / diabetes. Would I be in the frame of mind to pick up all the things I need to keep me going for at least 72 hour? So, later on in the evening I organized a small bag with most of the nonperishable supplies I require my diabetes – which I can grab if I have to make a quick exit.
For more information on how to be prepared – please check out this website when you have abit of time … http://www.72hours.org/