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Some steps you might want to be aware of

It's useful to have an evacuation plan and discuss it with your family. Think about making a go bag containing necessities (food, medication, at least 1 gallon of water per person per day), this should be light enough to be easily carried by a single person.

Tune into NOAA Weather Radio (NWR), they broadcast official warnings and other hazards 24/7 and pay attention to the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) that are sent to your phone.

Defending your home

FEMA advises dividing your property into 3 Zones in the form of concentric circles expanding outward from your home.

Zone 1 - extends 30 feet from you home
  • Remove combustibles from the vicinity - firewood, lawn furniture (umbrellas), dead vegetation, shrubs.
  • Clean your roof, and gutters, remove as much debris as possible.
  • Propane tanks and anything that uses one should be moved out of Zone 1 and into Zone 2.
Zone 2 - extends 100 feet away from your home/any outcroppings like decks/patios
  • Cut your grass down to a maximum height of 4 inches.
  • Remove fallen leaves, needles, twigs, bark, cones, and small branches.
  • Use features such as gravel pits, driveways, and stone patios to create firebreaks to stop or slow the spread of fire.
Zone 3 - extends up to 200 feet from your home
  • Reduce potential fuel sources by thinning and pruning vegetation.

Evacuation steps prepared for you by ReadyForWildfire

Inside your home
  • Shut all windows and doors, leaving them unlocked.
  • Remove flammable window shades, curtains and close metal shutters.
  • Move flammable furniture to the center of the room, away from windows and doors.
  • Shut off gas at the meter; turn off pilot lights.
  • Leave your lights on so firefighters can see your house under smoky conditions.
  • Shut off the air conditioning.
Outside your home
  • Gather up flammable items from the exterior of the house and bring them inside (patio furniture, children’s toys, door mats, trash cans, etc.) or place them in your pool.
  • Turn off propane tanks, Move propane BBQ appliances away from structures.
  • Connect garden hoses to outside water valves or spigots for use by firefighters. Fill water buckets and place them around the house.
  • Don’t leave sprinklers on or water running, they can affect critical water pressure.
  • Leave exterior lights on so your home is visible to firefighters in the smoke or darkness of night.
  • Put your Emergency Supply Kit in your vehicle.
  • Back your car into the driveway with vehicle loaded and all doors and windows closed. Carry your car keys with you.
  • Have a ladder available and place it at the corner of the house for firefighters to quickly access your roof.
  • Seal attic and ground vents with pre-cut plywood or commercial seals.
  • Patrol your property and monitor the fire situation. Don’t wait for an evacuation order if you feel threatened.
  • Check on neighbors and make sure they are preparing to leave.
Pets / Animals
  • Keep pets close to you.
  • If possible, transport farm animals to a safer location.

Last resort advice

If you can stil evacuate on your own
  • Check to make sure your Emergency Supply Kit is in your vehicle, cover-up to protect against heat and flying embers.
  • Wear long pants, a long sleeve shirt, heavy shoes/boots, cap, dry bandanna for face cover, goggles or glasses. 100% cotton is preferable.
  • Locate your pets and take them with you.
Trapped? Don’t panic - here are some steps you can take
  • If you’re in a vehicle, park in an area clear of vegetation, close all doors and windows, seal any vents and turn off heater/air conditioner. Lie on the floor of the vehicle and cover yourself with a wool blanket or jacket. Use cell phone to call 911, describe your situation and listen to their instructions.
  • If you’re travelling on foot or by bicycle go to an area clear of vegetation, a ditch or depression on level ground if possible, lie face down, cover up your body call 911.
  • If you're in your home: Stay calm, keep your family together. Call 911 and inform authorities of your location. Fill sinks and tubs with cold water. Keep doors and windows closed but unlocked. Stay inside your house. Stay away from outside walls and windows.