4 Mistakes We Made Evacuating From the Santa Rosa Fires

You are never prepared for a disaster, no matter how much you THINK you are prepared. My family and I evacuated from Santa Rosa fires yesterday, Monday, October 9th, 2017 and want to share the mistakes we made while evacuating.

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mistakes evacuating Santa Rosa Fires

4 Mistakes We Made Evacuating from the Santa Rosa Fires

1. We Slept through Potential Disaster.

The  fires in Santa Rosa started at 10pm. My husband called the fire department at 10:30pm to ask about the smoke. They mentioned a fire nearby and that was it. We went to sleep.

Obviously the fires spread and grew worse, but we slept. I woke up at 6AM, found out we were now residing in an evacuation zone, and alerted my household of immediate evacuation.

2. Waiting Till the Last Minute.

In retrospect, my husband and I should have investigated further, but chose to sleep. I am typically organized, but the potential disaster ans keeping my kids calm made even an organized chick run around with her head chopped off. Procrastination bites.

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 3. Not Preparing Our Belongings.

After I woke and realized an imminent disaster, the power went out. My spouse and I had to pack for us and the kids in the dark. Later, I realized all that we forgot while setting into a cousin’s place.

The irony is my 4yo’s preschool had given us a disaster preparedness list 6 days before the fires. Sad.

4. Lack of flashlight and perishables prepared.

The power was out and we had to pack in the dark during the evacuation process. And we also discovered there weren’t any flashlights in the house. Scrambling in the dark, packing belongings, and trying to keep everyone calm is NOT something I would recommend.

We also had to grab food and perishables as well. If we had a disaster box ready, we could have focused on other matters instead.

Parting Words

In the end, we were able to evacuate from  the Santa Rosa fires. Would we have changed our lack of disaster preparedness? Definitely. But, the most important lesson is life is more precious than things. Stay safe.


  1. This is all so sad! I live in northern Nevada and I can’t believe the wreckage going on. So Sorry! Thanks for the post.

    1. liz.hossenlopp@gmail.com says:

      Thanks Megan. It has been crazy, scary, and mystifying. We hope the fires are contained soon.

  2. Nicole says:

    I can’t believe the fires reached you. It’s still surreal to hear how the homes are being torn apart. The good news is that your family is okay. I hope things can go back to normal soon!

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