Disaster Scenario | Fire

Are you and your family prepared for a fire? Do you have a plan? Do you have the proper equipment to fight the fires?  What if the fire is started in a forest and is approaching your home?  There are so many different ways that fire can effect your world.  You must be prepared for this scenario as it can happen at any time with little warning.

According to Bill Gabbert at WildfireToday.com, the year 2017 came close to breaking a record with the number of acres burned in the US.  A total of 9,781,062 acres burned in 50-states.  This type of fire is driven by weather patters and sources of fuel such as open grassy fields, forests ravaged by drought. It was not just natural resources that were burned but also people’s farms, businesses and homes. 

The most recent wildfires in Northern California called the “Tubbs Fire” destroyed at least 5,700 homes and buildings. These fires moved quickly through the hills and into neighborhoods wreaking destruction as it spread. Luckily residents and local governments prepared for such an emergency and were able to take precautions avoiding injury and saving some structures.

Let’s take a look at what ReadyForWildFire.org has to say about getting your family and home ready in case of a fire:

PRE-EVACUATION PREPARATION STEPS

When an evacuation is anticipated, follow these checklists (if time allows) to give your home the best chance of surviving a wildfire.

Home Evacuation Checklist – How to Prepare for Evacuation:
Inside the House

  • Shut all windows and doors, leaving them unlocked.
  • Remove flammable window shades, curtains and close metal shutters.
  • Remove lightweight curtains.
  • 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

  • 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.

Animals

  • Locate your pets and keep them nearby.
  • Prepare farm animals for transport and think about moving them to a safe location early.

Again… the most important item you have in your possession during an emergency is your knowledge. Know your surroundings and keep up to date with fire safety equipment.