National Preparedness Month – Wildfire Prevention// on Tuesday September 8, 2015
“Wildfires Have Now Burned a Massive 8 Million Acres across the US”
“Large Wildfires More Common and Destructive in the West”
“Monster Wildfire Season Grips West Coast Residents with Fears of Future Devastation”
If you briefly skim today’s news headlines you’ll likely see something like the ones above. As wildfires rage on the west coast, it’s an important time for your organization and community to brush up on wildfire prevention. In honor of National Preparedness month here are some tips for preparing your organization and home before, during and after a wildfire.
- Build an emergency kit full of basic items your organization or home may need in the event of an emergency.
- Make a communication plan for contacting family members or other loved ones.
- Be sure to have working fire alarms on every level of your building or home. Try to have them checked monthly and change the batteries once a year.
- Keep your lawn and grounds rid of leaves and twigs. If there is a wildfire nearby, these can easily catch fire and spread.
- For more information on how to prepare for a wildfire, visit Firewise.com.
- Listen to the authorities and evacuate immediately upon their request.
- If you see a wildfire and are unsure it’s been reported, call 911.
- If you have not been asked to evacuate and have time, fill outdoor tubs, pools and garbage cans with water. You may even place valuables that cannot be damaged by water in one of these to help keep them protected.
- Place important documents inside the vehicle you would evacuate in. If you have pets, have their supplies packed and in the vehicle as well. This way you are ready to get in the car and leave should you be asked to evacuate.
- Shut off any natural gas or propane at the source.
- Turn on outdoor and indoor lights. This way your home or building is more likely to be seen in heavy smoke.
- If you evacuated your home or building, do not return until fire officials say it’s safe.
- Use caution when entering burned areas as threats may still persist.
- If you’ve been cleared to return to your home or building and once the fire has passed, check the roof and attic immediately. If there are any sparks or embers, put them out.
- Wet debris down to minimize breathing dust particles.
- Do not use water from the faucet unless emergency officials have said it’s okay.
- Be on a “fire watch” for several hours after the fire. If you see smoke or sparks, see if you can put them out, and if not, call 911.
If you’re interested in more information about how to prepare your organization and home from wildfires visit Ready.gov/wildfires.