October 1, 20080 found this helpful
Being prepared for a fire. Have a plan.
I live in an apartment on the second floor and at 4:00 am this morning I was awakened by sirens and pounding on doors. I got up to look and see what was going on and a knock immediately came to my door. I opened and it was a fire fighter yelling, "Get out, your apartment is on fire!" and smoke was billowing in through the doorway.
I sleep only in undies and a t-shirt but blessedly my bottoms and slippers were next to my bed so I was able to retrieve them quickly. However, I ended up wasting precious time grabbing eyeglasses in one place, wallet and keys in another place, purse with address book in yet another place and my kitty hiding under the bed.
I was able to round up the material items while fire fighter helped rescue the kitty in just over a minute but in hindsight I have come to realize that all important articles should be in one spot near the door at all times because even a few seconds, when there's smoke and fire, can be a matter of life and death. Had my items all been in one spot near the door, all I would have had to do was grab my precious kitty and then the purse with everything in it on the way out the door.
Some people wouldn't even open their doors to the fire fighters and they had to bust the doors down and make them get out. Just grab what you have to, or can, and get out!
My apartment ended up being saved and okay but seven others were damaged and two completely.
I will close this letter with a smile. I had put my sweat pants on backwards. ;-)
Thankful to our fire fighters!
Having experienced a house fire which was declared a total loss, I have a few tips for making the experience less frustrating.
Be sure you have enough coverage, which includes total replacement cost. Keep a copy of your policy in safe deposit box. Also take a video or pictures of your contents and put them with a friend or in a safety deposit box. If you put them on disc or computer, keep a copy in a place that you can grab in a hurry.
Be sure all contact numbers are in your cell phone and keep it near you, (in case you have to leave in a hurry). You can enter one person as ICE,(someone to call in case of emergency). Keep a couple of hundred dollar bills in a hidden pocket in purse or wallet, that you will grab when you leave the house.
Be sure all family members know an exit plan and what to grab if there is time. We only had a couple of minutes after I smelled the smoke, but I got both kids out the front door before it exploded. We were in bed so only had our night clothes. Neighbors were very helpful, had already called for help and the fire department came quickly, although it seemed like a long time, as it was 2 in the morning.
By ruthvalleygal from Harlingen, TX