Thousands of wildfires burn across North America every year, destroying homes and businesses with no remorse. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 45 million homes in the US intermingle with or are on the borders of wildlands, meaning more communities are vulnerable to wildfires than ever before. Prepare a wildfire action plan with your family today to ensure you’re ready to act if your home is ever in the path of this natural disaster.
Create an Evacuation Plan
Every family member should be familiar with how to respond to a wildfire well in advance. Here are the basics every evacuation plan should include:
- Establish a designated family meeting place located outside the fire hazard area in case of an emergency.
- Review different ways to evacuate your home in case the fire is inside the building.
- Discuss various escape routes out of the city as well in case any are blocked or restricted.
- If you have pets or livestock, create an evacuation plan for them.
- Practice your evacuation plan often, with different scenarios each time.
- Designate an out-of-area relative or friend to serve as a single point of contact for everyone. It’s easier to reach one person rather than try to keep all family members in the loop, especially while phone lines, cell towers, and internet systems are overloaded during a disaster.
If you need to grab-and-go, remember the six Ps of an immediate evacuation:
- People and pets
- Papers, including phone numbers and important documents
- Prescriptions and eyeglasses
- Priceless items, including pictures and other irreplaceable mementos
- Personal computer hard drives
- Plastic credit cards and paper cash
Prepare Your Home
You never know when a wildfire could break out, so make sure you’re always prepared:
- Keep fire extinguishers on hand. Check the expiration dates and replace them as needed.
- Know where the gas, electric, and water main shut-off controls are located.
- Build an emergency supply kit for each person.
- Maintain a tidy, well-watered yard to avoid providing fuel for the fire as it approaches your home.
Learn More About Your Community’s Wildfire Response Efforts
If you live in a wildfire-prone area, your leaders may have response efforts in place that you should know.
- Learn about any wildfire reduction efforts in your community, including prescribed burns to control the accumulation of combustible debris in forests, fields, and other natural areas.
- Sign up for local alerts so you can stay up-to-date on the latest emergency information and evacuation procedures.
- Contact your local zoning office and/or homeowner’s association to ask if there are any ordinances you should be following to reduce wildfire risk.
If your home is ever damaged by smoke or flames from a wildfire or other source, fire damage restoration from DKI can help you recover. We offer odor removal, structural cleanup and repair, contents restoration, and more. To ask questions or request 24/7 assistance, please call us anytime at 844-354-2255.