Our community is at extra high risk during the Santa Ana wind gusts. When forecasts predict a red flag warning be prepared and check the list below. Although most Brentwood Hills streets are wide enough to accommodate fire trucks even if cars are parked. Not so Mandeville Canyon Road, much of Westridge or Sullivan Canyon.
BE READY TO EVACUATE ON A MOMENT’S NOTICE. That means:
* Can you get your garage door up if the power goes out? If not, get your cars out on the driveway now, pointed downhill.
* If a sudden evacuation order comes, are you ready? That means, first and foremost, your loved ones and your pets (cat container?) into the car. Is the car gassed up? Once you leave Mandeville Canyon to attend to other business, you almost certainly won’t be allowed back in. We went through this rodeo last December for the Skirball Fire. They’ll tell you to walk up from Sunset. (I have business down in the flats Sunday morning, but if the winds are blowing, I’m not leaving here.)
* What will you take? Computers, medications, passports, birth certificates, diplomas, irreplaceable family mementos (wedding album?), photo albums, etc.?
* If you haven’t already done so, make an “insurance video” of your house, all its rooms and contents, artworks and jewelry, 360 view of the outside of your house, and then POST IT ONLINE. That way, if (God forbid) you are someday fighting with your fire insurance company, you can prove what you lost.
* VCA hospitals is offering to board any and all pets for free. Also, Paul Revere will be an evacuation center that accepts families with pets.
* Our primary evacuation center is Pali High, which is well provisioned with blankets, cots and water. (Except you’ll be competing with a lot of folks from Malibu.) A hotel in Santa Monica or West L.A. might be more comfortable.
* If the Fire Dept tells you to evacuate your house, it will be an unwise decision, if not fatal, to not comply. Don’t be a “hero” with your garden hose. This will be a fireball racing up the west ridge of Mandeville Canyon. (If you go, shut all doors and windows, and leave the lights on.) Our regrouping area will be Paul Revere, as you remember from our practice evacuation a couple years ago.
* A few of us in Brentwood Hills, incl. me, Jerry Adomian, Judy Handler and others, are “CERT responders.” Please knock on the doors of your elderly neighbors, who may be oblivious to all LAFD and LAPD notifications.
* In case you haven’t noticed, “Fire season” is now 12 months a year. The new normal.