October 6, 2020
Numerous unfortunate events have occured in 2020 thus far, one of them being the burning down of over 3.6 million acres in the U.S. People from all over the West Coast have had to evacuate their homes, including many from the Belmont community. San Carlos released a safety preparedness announcement on Sept. 2, causing many to rethink their safety. The announcement recommended having a fire evacuation plan, but since the Wine Country fires in 2017, the Bay Area community had not had to prepare for an emergency.
evacuation infographic by Jessica Conley
The month of September brought a multitude of fires to California, such as The August Complex, LNU Lightning Complex, and the El Dorado Fire. The 40-50 mph wind gusts spread the fires to the Bay Area, masking the sky in a dark orange hue. A vegetation fire in Belmont called for the evacuation of any residents near San Juan Canyon, East Laurel Creek Road, and Cipriana Boulevard.
Sophomore Kendall Grinker was among the evacuated.
“It is so important that you stay calm even though it is a scary situation. Grab everything that is important to you, like irreplaceable things,” Grinker said.
Grinker mentioned that although her family didn’t have a plan beforehand, they will remember what they did this time to help them if they ever need to evacuate again.
California wasn’t the only state watching their hopes for 2020 burn with the fires as over 500,000 people in Oregon had to evacuate. One of those 500,000 is an incoming freshman at Oregon State University, Brody Akin. The Akin family evacuated before any warning due to Brody’s allergy to smoke. With all of this happening so suddenly, it is hard to be completely ready, but Brody believes that having a backup plan is essential.
Go bag infographic by Jessica Conley
“You must have an evacuation plan. You have to keep moving because stopping is not an option,” Akin said.
Akin said that he took everything that was important to him while being responsible and bringing only necessary items. Brody believes that the number one piece of advice you should adhere to is having an evacuation plan, no matter how unnecessary it may seem.
“You feel so hopeless. It made me feel like the world was ending,” Akin said.