Wildfire Protection Tips

by Paul Konrardy

If you live in an area that has a propensity for wildfires, take precautions to help protect your family and your property.

The following advice is from Ready, Set, Go! (RSG), a program managed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), Ready.gov Wildfires and Prepare for Wildfires. Also, download FEMA’s How to Prepare for a Wildfire pdf.

Your Family

  • Know how to stay informed if there is potential for a wildfire. Monitor weather reports through local media and/or via a NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) All Hazards receiver
  • Search online for information on text or email alerting systems for emergency
    notifications in your area. You may also receive Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) infrastructure.
  • Be prepared for power outages that can disrupt information transmission. Have extra
    batteries for a battery-operated radio and portable chargers and battery back-ups for your cell phone. Consider having a hand crank radio or cell phone charger.
  • Learn your community’s local evacuation plan and identify several escape routes in case roads are blocked. Consider how you will transport family members with disabilities or with access or functional needs, as well as pets, service animals, and livestock.
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies. (Also, download the free Red Cross first aid mobile app and the Emergency app so you can monitor more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts.)

Your Home

WHN TIP – Inside and Out! Read Hardening Your Home for strategies to make your home more fire resistant.

  • Create and maintain a defensible space about 30 feet from your home and other structures that is free of anything that will burn, such as wood piles, dried leaves, newspapers, brush, and other landscaping that can burn.
  • From 30 feet to 100 feet reduce or replace as much of the most flammable vegetation as possible, prune remaining vegetation and create “fuel breaks,” such as driveways, gravel walkways, and lawns.
  • Regularly clean the roof and gutters.
  • Connect garden hoses long enough to reach any area of the home and fill garbage cans, tubs, or other large containers with water.
  • Work with neighbors to create spaces up to 200 feet around your homes where vegetation is thinned to remove underbrush and tall trees do not touch each other for continuous canopies.

WHN TIP – Inventory Now! Update your home’s contents, then compare the estimated value with the coverage you have through your homeowner’s insurance policy. Use our Sample Home Inventory Lists: Helpful Reminders to help you with the process.

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