WILD FIRE: Tips to Prevention, Preparation & Evacuation
WILD FIRE: Tips to Prevention, Preparation & Evacuation

 California is parched!  Throughout the state, wild fires are raging making now the perfect time to remind ourselves about prevention, as well as preparing our households for a possible emergency situation.

In San Diego County, both naturally occurring and human caused fires, are major hazards to our communities. Sadly, humans cause the overwhelming majority of wildfires in California with an average of 7,432 California wildfires a year as a result of human activity, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. While about 900 of those result from arson, the greatest danger of accidental fire comes from people improperly burning brush or debris, followed by people operating power equipment – like lawn mowers and weed whackers – in hot or dry conditions. Take steps now to assess your wildfire risk, safeguard your home and prepare for the next firestorm; you’ll not only increase the value and safety of your home, you’ll increase the safety of your family!

www.preventwildfireca.org is a great tool for fire prevention education! Learn how to prevent wildfire from starting and spreading while using outdoor equipment, camping, operating vehicles in a fire-safe way and burning debris.

Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit. Backpacks & Tubs are great for including:

* 3 day supply of non-perishable food & 3 gallons of water/person. Pets too!

* Prescriptions, Medications, Extra eye glasses/ contact lenses

* First Aid Kit & Sanitation supplies

* Change of clothes

* Flashlight & Battery-operated radio w/extra batteries

*Copies of important documents; ie birth certificates, passports, etc…

If, and only if, time allows…Collect:

* Easily carried valuables

* Family photos & irreplaceable items

* Computer hard drives & disks

* Chargers for cell phones, laptops, etc…

Create an Evacuation Plan, including:

* A designated meeting area outside the hazard area

* Several different escape routes from your home & community

* An evacuation plan for pets & large animals/livestock

* A Family Communication Plan: Designate an out of town relative/friend as a point of contact. It is easier to call or message one person and let them contact others than to try to reach everyone when phone, cell, and internet systems may be overloaded or limited during a disaster.

When fire strikes, take IMMEDIATE ACTION! Follow these steps to safety…

1) Gather all flammable items from the exterior of your house, placing them inside the home or in your pool, if possible.

2) Turn off propane tanks. Move propane BBQ appliances away from structures.

3) Connect garden hoses to outside water valves for use by fire fighters. Fill water buckets & place them around the exterior of the house.  Do NOT leave sprinklers or hoses on as they can affect critical water pressure.

4) Leave lights on so your home is visible to firefighters through smoke & dark of night.

5) Put Emergency Supply Kit in vehicle. Back car into driveway, doors & windows sealed. Keep keys with you.  Locate your pets & keep them nearby.

6) Place a ladder at the corner of the house to allow for easy roof-access for firefighters.

7) Check on neighbors & make sure they are ok & preparing to leave.

8) Shut all windows & doors, leaving them unlocked.

9) Remove flammable window shades & curtains; close metal shutters.  Move flammable furniture to the center of the room, away from windows & doors.

10) Shut off gas at the meter. Turn off pilot light.

11) Shut off Air Conditioning.

12) Monitor property & fire situation. Do not wait for an Evacuation order if you feel threatened. LEAVE!  Follow your Evacuation plan to safety.

By being ready to go, you’ll be giving your household the best chance at Safety!