About a year after the fire I asked other 2003 survivors if they had any tips to give. Rachael Hernandez’s family lost their house to the Old Fire in San Bernardino. Here’s what she had to say:

“It's all about patience, and take lots of pictures.  I have a scrapbook just on the house.  It's amazing how on some days it felt like nothing or no one was working on ‘our’ house and the kids loved to see the progress using the scrapbook.

“As for anyone who has lost their homes to a disaster, I would have to say that you have to find a focus.  For my self I focus on my kids and their well being…our lives still have to go on, we eat sleep, work, school…

“I still have some issues that I too need to work on such as a few weeks ago we had really bad winds….the wind is what blew the fire that day and the kids and I can smell smoke almost instantly and the siren from the fire engine. My kids are doing well, we talk about how they feel and they continue to adapt to everyday living ….we have learned that no matter what the situation is stay calm.”