Pelican Flyer • September 13, 2020
According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), there have been over 45,000 wildfires in 2020 alone. Sadly, this has placed countless families and homes in harm’s way. Started suddenly by lightning strikes or other accidents, they begin small and spread rapidly. To better protect yourself from a wildfire, it’s essential for you and your entire family to have an emergency plan in place and know what to do should you need to evacuate.
Here is how to prepare for a wildfire to protect your family and home. From building a go bag and disaster supply kit to securing your home and property, if you live in a high-risk fire zone, learn these checklists by heart! Being prepared can help you get out in a timely manner, which can save lives.
First and foremost, it’s important to memorize and follow these essential preparation rules to keep you and your family safe. Practice them once a year to refresh memories and check equipment.
If you spot a wildfire, call 911! Never assume someone has spotted it before you. Usually caused by lightning strikes and dry brush and landscape, wildfires spread fast and often unnoticed. Let officials know the fire’s location so they can evacuate the vicinity.
When ordered to evacuate, grab your emergency kit and lock your home. Choose a route to avoid the fire, watching for changes in the direction and speed of fire and smoke. Always tell someone when you leave and where you are headed.
If you are not yet ordered to evacuate, FEMA still advises certain precautions:
When you are asked to evacuate, take these steps:
Wildfires can be created by humans, too. In dry conditions, take extra care when camping or enjoying any other outdoor activities. Follow basic wildfire safety tips, such as never leaving a fire unattended and extinguishing it before bed. Another wildfire safety tip is to use caution when fueling lanterns, avoiding spills. Discard cigarettes and matches, too. Even in your own backyard, take extra care when burning yard waste. Following these extra safety tips allows you to be part of the solution in wildfire management.
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