Thursday, July 11, 2013

How to prepare for wildfires

Although people living in wilderness areas enjoy the beauty of the environment, they face a real danger from wildfires. As recent emergencies in California, Arizona and elsewhere have shown, wildfires can spread extremely fast, consuming homes and endangering lives. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, you can reduce your risk by preparing before a wildfire strikes.

Here are some steps you can take to help protect your home, family and property from wildfires.
    • Practice wildfire safety: Make sure the roads leading to your home are visible, wide enough to accommodate firefighting equipment and are clearly marked. Immediately report any hazardous conditions that could lead to a wildfire.
    • Follow good design: Landscape your home with wildfire safety in mind. Avoid using materials and plants that have the potential to fuel the fire such as pine, evergreen, eucalyptus, junipers and fir trees.
    • Have a kit: Put together an evacuation kit that includes a battery-operated radio, flashlight, bottled water, a first-aid kit, cellphones and chargers, important documents and needed medications. 
    • Be ready to leave: Post emergency assistance phone numbers next to all the phones in your home. Plan several escape routes from your home, both by car and by foot. Practice your evacuation plan, and if advised to leave the area, do so immediately.
     For more information, check out our Get Ready fact sheet on wildfires.

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