• Galt Joint Union High School District Superintendent Elizabeth Kaufman shares story of evacuation.
Elizabeth Kaufman, Superintendent of the Galt Joint Union High School District, shares a home in Fulton with her children and their father and their animals. On Monday night at 2:20 a.m., they evacuated when the fire threatened their home. They also rent a place in Elk Grove. This is her account:
“We were called at night to go back to our house because the fires were in the area. It was eerie passing through Sears Point with everything on fire and eerie seeing fires in the distance and close by. Around us there are pockets, like my best friend’s neighborhood, where houses are all destroyed; yet, driving along the freeway in many places it looks like nothing has happened.
We were worried about our animals and their safety, not as much as our house. When you are driving and seeing other people’s houses burning it puts a lot in perspective. You worry for them and send them your prayers. And it becomes important that we were all safe and together.
There’s fire damage all over and the (emergency alerts) are coming up constantly. Friends are still being evacuated. Others are returning to their homes. Our power and water was restored last night. The winds are changing again and there are fires all over the place so everyone is just staying close to home.
We’re all on high alert. People are there to help each other. I’m sure many of us have 20/20 hindsight about emergency preparedness planning and supplies that we should have had on hand. We didn’t have flashlights or extra water available so had to load horses and dogs using phone flashlights. Guess that’s a lesson to all of us who get complacent . ...
My biggest takeaway from this experience — apart from the sense of community with other people who had evacuated and were as uncertain as we were about the future — is that very few things in the world matter . ... When we got home and got our dogs and horses loaded and had our three kids packed safely in our trucks with them, I knew we’d be OK no matter what happened. I think so many people just feel grateful for their family and safety.
Evacuating pretty much confirmed our farm family identity — all we needed were our two trucks ... and in those we brought our most important possessions — three kids, four dogs, three horses and five saddles. (Always the mom, I made my kids run back and get their riding helmets too for extra safety).”
Kaufman wants to thank the first responders. “They truly are life savers and selfless in their acts,” she said.