Now that wildfire is near
It's time to get set
Family Escape Plan
There is no better plan you can make with your family, than a plan on how to escape your home if it is on fire. A Family Escape Plan is one of the single most important things you can do ahead of an emergency. Here’s details on how to make your Family Escape Plan.
If you live in the Wildland Urban Interface, broaden your plan to include two evacuation routes out of your neighborhood. Study maps of the area, and make sure everyone in your family is familiar with the two routes you designate as your escape routes.
Everyone in your family should know where the city sets up emergency shelters near your home. This is an excellent safe meeting place for your family if you are separated during an evacuation.
Out of State Contact
A good evacuation plan always includes someone OUTSIDE YOUR AREA, even outside the state, who you can designate as a reliable contact. In the event of a wide scale emergency, phone lines can get jammed with emergency traffic. It’s often easier to call out of state than connect to someone next door!
Your out-of-state contact number should be programmed into every family member’s mobile phone and you should carry a written copy of if in your survival kit.
Don’t forget to update your social media sites where friends and family follow your status. This is an easy, one-step way to update all those in your circle, near and far, that a wildfire is nearing your home, and you are preparing to evacuate.
What to Keep Under Your Bed
Keeping a few items under your bed is a great way to prepare for these kind of emergencies in advance.
- Flashlight – in case the lights are out
- Old pair of sneakers – if you’re in bed, chances are your feet are bare. In a fire, you won’t have time to look for shoes, but you’ll need them. In an earthquake, things might have fallen, windows could be broken. You don’t want to cut your bare feet, so have a good pair of sturdy shoes/sneakers on hand.
- A warm sweater or jacket – you might need to evacuate, and be out of the house for hours. You’ll need to stay warm.
- Whistle – or any inexpensive, non-electronic noise maker. If you’re trapped, you’ll need a way to alert rescuers where you are.
Every member of your family should have a bag like this under their bed.
Survival kits are essential to preparing for wildfire evacuation, or any disaster including floods and earthquakes.
Here’s a full list of what to include in yours.
And remember, three kits are better than one! Keep one in your home, one at the office and one in your car.
Leaving behind pets in the midst of a wind-driven wildfire is unthinkable. Now is the time to include pets in your preparation. During the GET SET phase, you should put your pets in their carry cases. If your pets are too large for carry cases or kennels, have them near, with collars and leashes at the ready.
Know where shelters are in your area that accept pets. You might not be able to bring pets to an evacuation shelter near you.
Know where you water, gas and electric shut-off controls are and how to use them. Practice shutting off your utilities to make sure you have the proper tools on hand to do it in an emergency. Teach your family members how to perform this vital task.
If you have a swimming pool, you should purchase a pump that can siphon water from the pool. In large-scale wildfires, firefighters have used the water in swimming pools to supplement their water supply when fighting the blaze. Your pool can help save your home and neighborhood!
Fireproof Safe Box
Purchasing a fireproof safe box well in advance of a wildfire will insure you have a place for important and irreplaceable documents and keepsakes. Companies who make fire extinguishers and smoke/CO alarms also make highly rated fireproof safe boxes. They can be purchased online or many large retail outlets.