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Episode from the podcastLeading Saints Podcast

How I Led During the Creek Fire | An Interview with Vicki Clason

Released Wednesday, 13th October 2021
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Most of Vicki Clason’s life has been spent in the tiny town of Auberry, located in the foothills near Fresno, California. Vicki loves the natural beauty and close-knit community of her foothill home where she and her husband together raised five children. Her love of community inspired Vicki to run for the local school board where she served for five years before becoming employed as a high school teacher for the same district. She is now retired and spending more time with her 11 grandchildren (with another due soon). Vicki was serving as Relief Society president when the devastating 2020 Creek Fire altered her beloved community forever. A year later, Vicki continues to serve the Auberry Ward members they rebuild and recover to create some beauty where there once was ashes. In this podcast, Vicki shares her experience as a Relief Society president during a time when 97% of her ward had to be evacuated, giving tips and advice to prepare for such crises.
3:40 Vicki’s experience evacuating her family and her ward in September 2020.

7:45 Where did people go when they were evacuated? How did the stake help those that didn’t have anywhere to go?

10:00 Vicki explains how she coordinated and took care of those in her ward during the evacuation.

11:50 Ministering is what really helped Vicki keep track of everyone and make sure everyone was safe.

13:20 They had a team of people calling everyone on the roster.

14:50 When there is a crisis there needs to be an organization in place to call everyone and organize information for everyone that is in the ward. Everything should be recorded on a document.

17:15 The importance of gathering. The ward wasn’t able to physically gather but they gathered through Facebook and emails. Communication is key. Many were able to gather at the Stake center.

23:15 Gathering and sharing experiences brings healing.

25:20 Feelings of inadequacy as a leader in times of crisis. Heavenly Father will lift you up. You are not alone.

28:00 Vicki gives ideas of things that she feels they could have done better in an emergency situation. Each ward should create a plan and be prepared for a crisis.
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