In about 18 months, our family will have lived in this house for 50 years. When our girls were little, their teachers told them that every family had to have a plan for emergencies. They needed to know how to get out of the house in case of fire, and to have a rallying point so we could all be accounted for. When Sarah asked what our plan was, I told her that since our house was so old, it was built before Anchorage had building codes. There was no sheetrock; all the walls were wood. Our plan was to die when the house burned to the ground in minutes. She wasn't reassured even though she was going to a Christian school.
Last night, I had occasion to think about an emergency plan for the city. There are two roads leaving Anchorage. One goes south to Tom Bodett's "End of the Road" in Homer. Their bumper sticker declares them, "A quaint drinking village with a fishing problem."
The other road, the Glenn Highway, goes north, and if you have gas, patience and a passport to get through Canada, you can arrive 5 days later in another state.
We went to dinner at friends' last night. According to google maps, it was a distance of 3.7 miles and should have taken 8 minutes, but because of an accident that reduced the Glenn to one lane, it took over an hour. This despite the fact that we weren't even on the highway; traffic trying to enter the highway backed up onto virtually every major street on the east side. It did give us time to listen to game 1 of the world series. I'm a Boston fan, but it was hard to listen to the Rockies being drubbed. I would have felt sorry for them if that part of my brain wasn't tied up feeling sorry for myself.
Anyway, I now realize that Anchorage's evacuation plan matches our family's. No wonder we feel at home here.