Information from "down under" where they have wildfires too.
We can all in our own mind envision ourselves getting prepared in advance of any wildfire. Loading up the car in advance, having a checklist for the last minute things to grab when the order comes to evacuate. Then, we get the order! We move quickly and efficiently to gather the last few things on our checklist, get in the car and go. That is how we think it will play out.
Why then do people, who are prepared, forget the dog, or dilly dally around looking for more pictures that maybe we should be taking with us? It doesn't seem to make sense. Only people who are not prepared should act like this.
See this article, "How to prepare yourself — and your brain — to face bushfires" which looks at the psychology of evacuations in a wildfire situation. All of this is directly transferrable to our situation here in the United States, since the human brain is wired the same if you are in the U.S. or in Australia.
Tom Cox shared the link above.