Southern California’s wildfires have devastated the region, causing over $1-billion in damage to houses in San Diego County, home of Mac360 writer Alexis Kayhill.
Until today, Mac360 had not heard from Alexis since evacuations in the area began. Phone calls to her residence and cell phone went unanswered as telephone service to the area was interrupted.
Over 1,500 homes have been destroyed in the region, and over a half-million people left the area, the largest evacuation in California history. Over 410,000 acres, more than 640 square miles have been destroyed.
Late this morning I received a phone call from Alexis. Her family, including husband, daughter, and pets, managed to stay in an emergency shelter for two days before leaving for Los Angeles to stay with relatives.
We didn’t have much time to talk on the phone. Alexis indicated that, so far as they knew, everyone in their neighborhood near Rancho Bernardo was fine, but that some homes, including hers, were damaged by the wildfires. The extent of the damage is unknown.
I asked Alexis what valuables they managed to carry away from their home once the evacuation order was given. She said they had only enough time to grab some clothes, a box of important papers, her husband’s MacBook Pro, and their backup hard drive.
Alexis told me to remind Mac360 readers to backup, backup, backup. She said almost all her family photos are in iPhoto on their Macs.
All their music and important documents for business are also on their Macs, but backed up regularly.
Alexis, who is six months pregnant, said they do not know the extent of the damage to homes in the Rancho Bernardo area but have heard that it was considered one of the hardest-hit locations. Alexis told me that she heard officials have begun allowing some residents to return to their homes in nearby Chula Vista, Encinitas, and Del Mar.
Mac360 will post an update to Alexis’ situation in southern California until she and her family are allowed to return to the area. Alexis is one of Mac360’s original writers.
So, Mac360 readers, backup, backup, backup. If you had to evacuate your home on moment’s notice, what would you take with you?
If you’re like me and many Mac users, all our photos are stored on the Mac’s hard drive, along with music, important documents, and more. How quickly can you grab what’s important and head out the door?
What’s your digital emergency plan?
Update – I just received another call from Alexis on her way to stay with family in Los Angeles. Her husband stayed behind in San Diego and was allowed back into the area this morning to retrieve belongings and assess damage.
She said their home received some damage from the fire, a neighbor’s home next door had no damage, but a larger home on the other side received extensive damage but was intact.