Wildfire Emergency Preparedness

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Droughts and dry conditions increase wildfire risks. Yet, even a campfire that’s not put out can create a few sparks that turn into a blaze that spreads through trees and dry brush. Eventually, those flames could reach homes and businesses, damaging or destroying multiple neighborhoods in the process.

All areas can experience wildfires to some degree, so take the following steps to be ready:

Preparation

  • Have emergency numbers by every phone in your home
  • Make sure your house number and driveway are clearly marked
  • Identify and maintain a water source outside of the home, such as a well, cistern, or even a swimming pool.
  • Be prepared to fight small fires before emergency responders arrive. Have the right tools on hand, such as a rake, ax, hand or chain saw, bucket, and shovel.
  • Make sure plants and building materials around your property are fire resistant.
  • Clean your roof and gutters to remove debris
  • Have two alternate evacuation routes, in case the main one in your neighborhood is blocked
  • Have a contact out of the area, in case local phone lines aren’t working
  • Have a place outside of your neighborhood to meet up with family members, in case you can’t get home.
 

Additionally, put together a kit with essential emergency preparation supplies:

  • One gallon of water per person per day, for at least three days.
  • A three-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items.
  • Flashlight, with extra batteries
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Standard first aid kit
  • A seven-day supply of medications
  • Multi-tool
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Copies of personal documents
  • A back-up cell phone with a charger
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Maps of the area, as your GPS may not work.
 

Once You Hear Wildfire Reports:

  • Be ready to leave at a moment’s notice, and tell your contact where you’re going and let them know when you’ve arrived.
  • If you see a fire but haven’t heard an evacuation order, call 911.
  • Seek help immediately if you or someone you know has been burned.
  • Listen to radio and TV stations for updates about the emergency and what to do.
  • Have your car always facing in the direction of escape and prepared with gas and fluids. Make sure it’s packed with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.
  • Have temporary housing arranged outside of the area.
  • Listen for air quality reports concerning smoke.
  • Keep all windows closed to prevent smoke from entering
  • Don’t use anything that burns inside the house, as this can create indoor air pollution. Avoid candles, stoves, and vacuums, which can stir up particles.
 

Once the Fire is Controlled:

  • Don’t return to your home, until officials say it’s safe to do so.
  • Use caution when entering burned areas, as hotspots may still exist.
  • Avoid damaged or fallen power lines.
  • Stay clear of ash pits
  • Keep your pets away from ash, embers, and hotspots.
  • Keep hands and feet protected
  • Dispose Cleaning products, paint, batteries, and damaged fuel containers to avoid fire risks
  • Discard food exposed to heat and soot, as it’s contaminated.
  • Never use contaminated water.
  • Inspect your home for damage and to get rid of fire hazards
 

Haven’t yet put together a kit? Get a start with 1st Aid Supplies. Our store carries full disaster and emergency preparedness kits. Browse today to find one suiting your needs.

 

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