The Prowler

Students Respond to Challenges as Disasters Ravage California Cities

Fires spread quickly, forcing families to flee

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Students Respond to Challenges as Disasters Ravage California Cities

Fires ravaged homes of friends and families

Fires ravaged homes of friends and families

Emma Nulman

Fires ravaged homes of friends and families

Emma Nulman

Emma Nulman

Fires ravaged homes of friends and families

Lauren Pomerantz, News Editor

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CALABASAS – It was like any other Thursday. Anxious about my challenging math test the next day, I was immersed in my studying. In the back of my mind, I thought about how gratifying it would feel once I finished. After multiple missed calls from my sister, I picked up the phone with hesitance. She mentioned the looming fire that sparked in Newbury Park, California. My sister was traveling In the direction of the fire. I was flooded by a multitude of emotions: fear, shock, anger, concern, and sadness. With the shooting in Thousand Oaks just one day prior, it felt as if the entire world was on fire.

I could no longer study. I could no longer do anything productive. I spent the next few hours with my eyes glued to the news channels – waiting while the fire was infiltrating my life. I had to make an important decision – whether to stay put, powerless against the burning fire, or evacuate to someone else’s house. In that moment, I was not yet in imminent danger.

I woke up feeling suffocated. I had to finish my studying, pull myself together for school, and ensure that both my family and I were safe. I received notice that school was cancelled for the day. This would normally make me happy, however, it just confirmed my doubts.

It is a difficult feeling to describe – not feeling safe in your own home. It is ironic that in a place where many people, including myself, are most comfortable, your life can be threatened.

My house was powerless, literally. My sister and I packed everything important into our cars in minutes and drove away from the danger zone. This situation really forces you to think about whether we can ever truly be safe.

I did not return until last night, November 13, 2018. These five days were some of the most stress-inducing and difficult times I had ever experienced. I could do nothing but worry about my house, family, friends, and safety. As the fire spread more quickly, inching closer to my house each second, I lived in constant fear that the place where I grew up could vanish. I hope to never have these feelings again.

In reflecting on my experience through an evacuation, I have come to realize how little “need” and how much excess is in my life. If I could pack my important memories and possessions into the trunk of my car, isn’t that supposed to tell me something? In reality, I need to clean up my house. More importantly, however, I will move forward with a different attitude. In a world that is filled with danger and uncertainty, I must live each day independently, not taking my time for granted.

 

About the Contributors
Lauren Pomerantz, News Editor

Lauren is a senior. She enjoys exercising, spending time with friends/family, and is especially passionate about writing. The Prowler is her first opportunity...

Emma Nulman, Features Editor

Emma is a senior. She enjoys writing and exploring important issues in the world through her work. She is an advocate of many prominent societal issues...

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Students Respond to Challenges as Disasters Ravage California Cities