Wildfire Community Preparedness Day - May 1, 2021
Projects that reduce wildfire risk and increase preparedness can be accomplished by people of all ages with a variety of time commitments. You might be asking, “What can I do in a single day to help stay safer from wildfire?” The answer is—a lot! Here is a thorough checklist from NFPA:
• Can you see your home’s address number from the street? How about your neighbors’? If not, trim overgrown vegetation covering or blocking the numbers on your homes in case firefighters need to find you. You can order an address visibility sign here.
• Locate two alternate routes out of your neighborhood (besides the one normally used) and plan and practice a family evacuation drill using those alternate routes. Down your Evacuation Map here.
• Measure how close wood piles are located to the home. If any are closer than 30 feet, move them farther away from structures. Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire screening no larger than 1/8-inch mesh to help keep embers out during a wildfire. Download Defensible Space Mailer Here.
• Rake and remove pine needles and dry leaves to a minimum of 3 to 5 feet from a home’s foundation. Over time, continue up to a 30-foot distance around the home. Dispose of collected debris in appropriate trash receptacles.
• Sweep porches and decks, clearing them of leaves and pine needles. Rake under decks, porches, sheds, and play structures.
• On mature trees, use hand pruners and loppers to remove low-hanging tree branches up to a height of 4 feet from the ground (specific height depends on the type and size of tree). Collect downed tree limbs and broken branches and take them to a disposal site.
• Check your possessions. Take video and photos of your possessions so you’ll have documentation to replace belongings.
• Check in on others! Help elderly relatives or neighbors enter emergency numbers into their cell phones. Using large type, post their phone number and street address above their landline phone so it can easily be seen when providing information to an emergency dispatcher.
• Remove items stored under decks and porches and relocate them to a storage area. Gasoline cans and portable propane tanks should never be stored indoors or near the home.
• Join forces with neighbors and pool your resources to pay for a chipper service to help clear debris.
• Rake and remove pine needles and dry leaves to a minimum of 3 to 5 feet from a home.
• Create a family communication plan and build or update a 72-hour evacuation kit for you, your family, and your pets.
• Inform young adults who babysit outside the home that they need to learn the family’s emergency plan for wildfires and evacuations.
• Clear out your closets! Hold a garage sale and donate the proceeds to your local fire department’s wildland fire team.
• Work with neighbors to develop a phone tree that can be used to alert everyone about a fire or evacuation.
SAFETY RESOURCES & VIDEOS
• 5 key areas around the home you must examine when assessing wildfire risk - Play Video
• Outbuildings need love too: Steps to prepare your property for wildfire – Play Video
• The Home Ignition Zone and Facing Wildfire Risks – Play Video
• Tips to Help Keep Homes from Igniting in a Wildfire – Play Video
• 7 Ways Residents Can Reduce The Risk That Their Homes & Property Will Become Fuel For A Wildfire Infographic – Download Here
• Wildfire Risk Reduction Safety Tips PDF – Download Here