How to prepare for a wild fire
Wild fire is coming ARE YOU READY?
With more and more people building closer and closer to woodlands and forest settings, while these areas provide beauty and serine environments they come with a very real danger, that danger is called wildfire.
Wildfires can occur anywhere and can destroy home, business, infrastructure, natural resources and agriculture. It is important to prepare and protect yourself and your home and property.
The federal suppression cost typically range from 1 billion to nearly 2 billion each year. The destruction caused by wild fire depends on the size of the fire, the landscape and the amount of fuel in the path of the wildfire.
- Wildfires can cause death or injury to people and animals.
- Structures may be damaged or destroyed.
- Transportation, gas, power, communications, and other services may be disrupted.
- Flying embers can set fire to buildings more than a mile away from the wildfire itself.
- Smoke can cause health issues for people, even for those far away from the fire.
- Extensive acreage can be burned, damaging watersheds and critical natural areas.
- Flash flooding and mudslides can result from fire damage to the surrounding landscape.
- Wildfires can affect the land for many years, including causing changes to the soil that increase the risk of future floods.
When wildfires do hit there are homes that burn and homes right next door that don’t burn, the homes that do survive do so because of their owner has prepared for the wildfire it’s said that ifs it predictable it’s preventable.
Wild fires start at random, unintended campfires, lightning strike, or accidents. Wildfires spread quickly so preparing when you see smoke it’s already too late. So now is the time to meet with your family and decide what to do and where to go in such an event.
Here are a few things to do to help prepare your home and property for a wildfire.
- Make a family bug out plan.
- Make a disaster supply kit ( bug out Bag)
- Design your landscape around your home with a wild fire in mind
- Make sure you regularly clean out your gutters.
- Inspect your chimneys and clean out at least once a year.
- Have a latter to reach the roof of the home.
- Make sure you have your smoke alarms working, and one on each level.
- Remove piles of wood, clear dead wood of off the trees.
- Have a garden hose that is long enough to reach any area of the home.
- Consider obtaining a portable gasoline powered pump incase power is cut.
Prepare your property
Creating a defensible space around your home is essential to improve your chance of surviving a wildfire. It’s the buffer you create its recommended that you have 100 – 300 feet around your home. There are steps you can take to reduce the danger.
- Rake dead leaves off the grass.
- Remove dead braches around the property.
- Remove branched that extend over the roof.
- Ask the power company to remove branches around power lines.
- Remove vines from walls of home.
- Stack firewood at least 100 feet away from your home.
- Store gasoline in approved safety containers, and in safe places.
- Review your homeowners insurance to include fire protection.
During A Wildfire
If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Take your disaster supply kit, lock your home and choose a route away from the fire hazard. Watch for changes in the speed and direction of the fire and smoke. Tell someone when you left and where you are going.
If you see a wildfire and haven’t received evacuation orders yet, call 9-1-1. Don’t assume that someone else has already called. Describe the location of the fire, speak slowly and clearly, and answer any questions asked by the dispatcher.
If you are not ordered to evacuate, and have time to prepare your home, FEMA recommends you take the following actions:
- Arrange temporary housing at a friend or relative’s home outside the threatened area in case you need to evacuate
- Wear protective clothing when outside—sturdy shoes, cotton or woolen clothes, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves and a handkerchief to protect your face
- Gather fire tools such as a rake, axe, handsaw or chainsaw, bucket and shovel
- Close outside attic, eaves and basement vents, windows, doors, pet doors, etc. Remove flammable drapes and curtains
- Close all shutters, blinds or heavy non-combustible window coverings to reduce radiant heat
- Close all doors inside the house to prevent draft
- Open the damper on your fireplace, but close the fireplace screen
- Shut off any natural gas, propane or fuel oil supplies at the source
- Connect garden hoses to outdoor water faucet and fill any pools, hot tubs, garbage cans, tubs or other large containers with water
- Place lawn sprinklers on the roof and near above-ground fuel tanks, and leave the sprinklers on, dowsing these structures as long as possible
- If you have gas-powered pumps for water, make sure they are fueled and ready
If asked to evacuate:
- Place a ladder against the house in clear view to aid firefighters
- Disconnect any automatic garage door openers so that doors can still be opened by hand if the power goes out, and close all garage doors
- Place valuable papers, mementos and anything “you can’t live without” inside the car in the garage, ready for quick departure
- Any pets still with you should also be put in the car
- Place valuables that will not be damaged by water in a pool or pond
- Move flammable furniture into the center of the residence away from the windows and sliding-glass doors
- Turn on outside lights and leave a light on in every room to make the house more visible in heavy smoke
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