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Fire in Your Backyard

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Editor’s Note: Sandy Stockton is the printing services coordinator at Gold Country Printing and a longtime trusted Ink asset.

On Aug. 1, Sandy Stockton was confronted with the immediate threat of the Omega Fire in her backyard, and the possibility she might lose her home. As the 727s dropped retardant and helicopters churned the smoke overhead, she and her family scrambled to save the irreplaceables, gather the necessary evacuation documents, and do what they could to protect their home. She watched three of her neighbors’ homes be lost to fire and came out of the experience with the realization that many aren’t fully prepared for wildfire — so she shared with us via email a useful to-do list she is currently putting into action in case the unthinkable happens.

1. Water: Purchasing a 2,500-gallon water storage tank with fire hose fitting so we have back-up water and the ability to let firemen use our water source.

2. Solar Power: Solar panel, hooked to an inverter, and connected to a 12-volt battery that gives us enough voltage to run our refrigerator and freezer off solar power so we don’t need electricity to save all our food.

3. Sprinklers: Rain Bird sprinklers on the roof. Along with the tank we are going to hook up three sprinklers that will be on each peak of our house and run off the water storage tank and solar run 12-volt pump. This will allow us to turn on the sprinklers if we have to evacuate or if the fire gets close, so we have some sort of barrier to help save our home.

4. Solar Lights: You know those cute little lights you can just stick in the ground. They work just as well inside during the night to light up hallways, rooms, etc. and recharge the next day from solar. These were great, it was basically the only light we had on the night of the fire.

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January 10, 2019