More and more people are making their home in woodland settings, rural areas or remote mountain sires. There, residents enjoy the beauty if the environment but face the very real danger of wild fires. Wild fires often spread quickly, igniting brush, tress, and homes. In a wildfire, every second counts!
What Should I do to Prepare Ahead of Time?
- Learn about wild fire risks in your area
- Talk with members of your household about wild fires – how to prevent them and what to do if one occurs.
- Post emergency phone numbers by every phone in your home
- Make sure the driveway entrances and you house number or address are clearly marked.
- Identify and maintain an adequate water source outside your home, such as a small pond, cistern, well, or swimming pool.
- Set aside household items that can be used as dire tools: a rake, ax, hand saw or chain saw, bucket and shovel. You may need to fight small fires before emergency responders arrive.
- Select building materials and plants resistant to fire.
- Regularly clean roofs and gutters.
- Plan and practice two ways out of your neighborhood in case your primary route is blocked.
- Select a safe place for family members to meet outside your neighborhood in case you cannot get home or need to evacuate.
- Identify someone who is out of the area to contact if local phone lines are not working.
What Should I do if There are Reports of Wild Fires in my Area?
- Be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
- Listen to local radio and television stations for updated emergency information.
- Always back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape.
- Confine pets to one room so that you can find them quickly if you need to evacuate.
- Arrange for temporary housing at a friend or relative’s home outside of the threatened area.
Limit the exposure to smoke and dust
- Listen and watch for air quality reports and health warnings about smoke.
- Keep indoors clean by closing windows and doors to prevent outside smoke from entering.
- Use the re-cycle or circulate mode on the air conditioner.
- When smoke levels are high don’t use anything that burns or smoke that could add to the pollution.
Returning Home After a Wild Fire:
- Do not enter your home until fire officials say that its safe.
- Use caution when entering burned areas, hazards like hot spots can flare up without warning.
- Avoid damaged or fallen power lines.
- Watch for ash pits and avoid them – warn others to stay clear of the area.
- Watch you animals closely and keep them under your direct control. Hidden embers could burn their paws or hooves.
- Wet debris down to minimize breathing dust particles.
- Wear leather gloves and leather soled shoes to protect your hands and fee.
Ensure your food and water are safe.
- Discard any food that has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot.
- Do not ever use water that you think may be contaminated to clean dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, etc.
Supplies to Take With You in Case of an Emergency:
- Water-one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply)
- Non-perishable food
- Battery powered or hand crank radio
- Extra batteries
- First Aid Kit
- Medications (if needed)
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (Identification, insurance policies, medical info, deed to home)
- Cell phone and charger
- Extra cash
- Map of the area
- Emergency blanket
- Emergency contact information