Wildfire Safety Prep 101: Create A Plan For Natural Disasters and Emergencies at Home

There are currently 489 active wildfires burning in the United States according to the Fire, Weather & Avalanche Center. The startling number is cause for concern considering that many Americans might not know what to do in the case of a nearby fire. It is evident that wildfires can spring up at a moment’s notice and creating an emergency plan and kit may save a life.

firefighter helping control and extinguish a wildfire - Pixabay

Canada and other countries are not immune to the devastating effects of wildfires. Last year, British Columbia had one of the toughest years burning thousands of square kilometers of land. As they seem to occur yearly, it’s essential to be prepared and learn how to avoid being a victim if at all possible. With the summer season approaching, I’m hoping this year we can be prepared and avoid wildfires altogether or at least minimize them greatly. The following information is not mine, but comes directly from SafeHome. I copied it below for those who live in an area prone to forest and wildfires. It’s applicable regardless of where you live.

For those that don’t know where to start SafeHome.org has developed an emergency prep guide to help you better plan when disaster strikes: 

>>Wildfire Preparedness Tips: 

  • Stow flammable objects at least 30 feet away from the home
  • Maintain a 10-foot distance between the house and any foliage
  • Keep tree limbs trimmed at least 10 feet above the ground to prevent ladder fuels. Ditto with branches hanging within 10 feet of your roof, chimney, or house
  • Water your yard regularly to avoid dry grass that is vulnerable to ignition
  • Install nonflammable vegetation and mulch instead of their flammable counterparts. Pine needles, pine bark, and large mulched areas are fire-friendly, so avoid them
  • Plant flowers, vegetables, and other growth in smaller, irregular groups instead of large masses
  • Rake dead leaves and twigs

>> Tips For Evacuating

  • Leave your home as quickly as possible – you may not have much time 
  • If possible, move flammable furniture to the center of your house
  • Turn on exterior and interior lights to make the house visible to firefighters
  • Arrange temporary shelter 
  • Gather fire tools such as axes, rakes, and buckets
  • Close doors, windows, shutters, blinds, vents, eaves, and pet doors
  • If you have flammable drapes or curtains, pack them up
  • Get dressed in long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and durable shoes
  • Wear gloves and use a handkerchief to protect your face
  • Grab outdoor hoses and fill pools, hot tubs, and large outdoor containers with water
  • Turn sprinklers on and keep them running