If you live in a dry climate with woody areas nearby, you are probably no stranger to wildfires. These are unplanned, unwanted fires that occur in areas of combustible vegetation. They contaminate the air and are life threatening to nearby plants, animals, and humans.
Wildfires are all too common of an occurrence and if you live in a high-risk area, it’s important to know how to stay safe when one breaks out nearby. This article will provide valuable tips for you and your loved ones.
Be on the Lookout for Alerts
There are several local and government agencies that send out alerts when wildfires are nearby. Make sure you are on the radar by downloading the FEMA app to receive alerts from the National Weather Services.
It’s advisable to pay attention to the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alert which do not require a sign up. There also may be community alerts in your area.
Protect Your Home from Wildfires
Your home will hold up to wildfires well if you use fire resistant materials when you build, renovate and make repairs. You will also be in better shape for protection if you:
- Have an outdoor water source with a hose that can reach any part of the property
- Create a fire-resistant zone surrounding your home that is free of leaves, debris and other flammable materials
- Designate a room of your home that can be closed off from outside air during a fire. It should be equipped with an air cleaner that will keep the air free of pollution during a fire.
Plan an Evacuation Route
You may have to evacuate your home and area quickly if wildfires are nearby. Local authorities will recommend a route that will help you get around dangerous areas. Get updated to ensure your family stays safe.
Stock up on Supplies
There may be instances when you are stuck inside your home during a wildfire. If this is the case, you want to have supplies that are necessary for survival. These include:
- A first aid kit for minor injuries
- An N95 mask to protect you from unhealthy air
- A phone charger- make sure you have backup
- Canned food
Returning Home After a Wildfire
After a wildfire occurs, there could still be dangerous conditions in and around the home. Take the following precautions to stay safe:
- Only return home when the authorities say it’s safe to do so
- Avoid hot ash, embers and smoldering areas. These heat pockets can cause another fire.
- Wear protective clothing while cleaning
- Use a respirator to limit inhalation of dust and unhealthy air
- Document property damage with photos. This will help with your insurance claim.
- Phone systems are often busy right after a disaster. Use text messages and social media instead.
- Use the phone only in case of emergency.
It’s hopeful that a wildfire never happens to you. But if it does, you know how to keep you and your loved ones safe. What tips do you have for dealing with emergencies?