Our First Mini-Evac

So yesterday I see a text from the Office of Emergency Management that says, “SB COUNTY OEM: Mon-Tue rain likely less than 1/3" except 0.5-1" possible with thunderstorms. Be prepared to evacuate.” I have no Idea what it means other than that it’s going to rain, for reals, for the first time since the slide.

I debate moving to another city. I debate staying put and taking our chances. I regret, a lot, not being a more organized person who has already made some kind of “go bag” with essentials. The idea of packing is overwhelming.

There’s no friend’s house to go to with a six-year-old, a seventy-something, a husband arriving from work in the middle of the night, and an agitated, sniffly, sick, hormonal forty-something. We could go to a hotel. Insurance won’t cover that for sure. Right. Need to deal with insurance, find new insurance. That will be so easy now.

I take Ax to school. People are debating what “prepare to evacuate” means, are we/aren’t we, what’s the plan? My mom friend Louisa is not worried at all about tonight, she says. “I really don’t think it’s going to rain that much tonight.” Ok.

The rain is supposed to be worse Thursday and Friday than tonight, but we haven’t gotten any messages about that. The school variety show is Thursday. The Kindergarten class has been rehearsing a group number to “Shake it Off” from the Movie, Sing. Louisa says, “I guess they’ll just reschedule if they need to.”

People at drop-off are using the word “pre-evac.” Like, “Yeah, we’re in pre-evac.” Like, “Yeah, we’re yellow. I’m not sure if the Benitez’s are yellow or red.”

Our village has been divided in two areas on an official map — yellow and red. Red means basically you could be totally screwed, your house and anyone in it demolished if/when the mountain comes down again.

Yellow means you’ll lose power and other utilities perhaps, and maybe the ability to leave for unspecified lengths of time if the roads are blocked with debris, blocked for public safety purposes, or just ... blocked. Depending on who you ask, yellow zones are, “totally fine.” Our house is yellow zone.

So in lieu of waiting for the official evac notice, when suddenly everyone all at once would clamor to get out and get hotels and it’s the middle of the night, we went to a hotel. I’m in the comfy hotel bed right now.

Ax didn’t do his homework last night. I didn’t even ask him to try. He ate french fries and watched cable while I talked on the phone with a friend about the weather. At one point he asked, “Do we have fizzy water?”

I said, “No, honey. But let’s put that on our list of what we want to have for our next mini-evac.”

He said, “Yes because I get thirsty and I like to drink fizzy.”

“Ok, fizzy water on the list. Because honey you know how all that stuff happened last time there was a storm, from now on we are going to mini-evac when there’s a chance something could happen so we can be sure to be safe.”

“Ok,” he said.

Then Mike arrived and booked us a less expensive hotel for this Thursday and Friday, when he’ll be out of town again. I’m gonna keep going.