Recently, when much of Oregon (and the rest of the West Coast), was being ravaged by wildfires, I found myself on a self-imposed evacuation watch. I say self-imposed only because my exact address was never officially given the official go-ahead to start preparing. But saying it that way makes me seem more paranoid or neurotic than I am. I mean, I am those things, but in this case, I feel like my actions would be justifiable even to people with a less notable tendency toward anxiety.
The facts: I live in Multnomah County (Portland, Oregon). Our house is about 2 miles from the Clackamas County border, give or take a half mile depending on how you’re calculating it. All of Clackamas county was at least in the green zone--phase 1: “Get Ready.” Large parts of the country were in the yellow zone--phase 2: “Be Set.” And an uncomfortable percentage of the county was in the red zone--phase 3: “Go now.” It was not unheard of during this week for some areas to go from Phase 1 directly to Phase 3 without pausing at Phase 2. When you add up all of these factors, I felt like I might as well act as if I was already in Phase 1.
Also, my thinking was that if I’m fairly anxious now, how much more anxious will I be if we ever do officially enter the green zone? And knowing that anxiety will inevitably make it harder, not easier, to prepare, I thought I should start now, slowly and (relatively) calmly, rather than sit around with my rapidly building nervous energy just waiting for the “GO NOW!” order. Prepping was something I could do that might feel useful and potentially settling to my nervous system.