Wildfire

What To Do If Wildfire Threatens -- Important Safety Tips

When a wildfire threatens the community, your personal safety is paramount. Listed below are some important tips people should follow, in addition to staying tuned to news media for additional information.

  • If you are warned that a wildfire is threatening your area, listen to your battery-operated radio for reports and evacuation information. Follow the instructions of local officials.
  • Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape. Shut doors and roll up windows. Leave the key in the ignition. Close garage windows and doors, but leave them unlocked. Disconnect automatic garage door openers.
  • Confine pets to one room. Make plans to care for your pets in case you must evacuate.
  • Arrange temporary housing at a friend or relative's home outside the threatened area.

If Advised To Evacuate, Do So Immediately

  • Wear protective clothing, sturdy shoes, cotton or woolen clothing, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves, and a handkerchief to protect your face.
  • Lock your home.
  • Tell someone when you left and where you are going.
  • Choose a route away from fire hazards. Watch for changes in the speed and direction of fire and smoke.

If You're Sure You Have Time, Take Steps To Protect Your Home

Inside:

  • Close windows, vents, doors, venetian blinds or non-combustible window coverings, and heavy drapes. Remove lightweight curtains.
  • Shut off gas at the meter. Turn off pilot lights.
  • Open fireplace damper. Close fireplace screens.
  • Move flammable furniture into the center of the home away from windows and sliding-glass doors.
  • Turn on a light in each room to increase the visibility of your home in heavy smoke.

Outside:

  • Seal attic and ground vents with pre-cut plywood or commercial seals.
  • Turn off propane tanks.
  • Place combustible patio furniture inside.
  • Connect the garden hose to outside taps.
  • Set up the portable gasoline-powered pump.
  • Place lawn sprinklers on the roof and near above-ground fuel tanks.
  • Wet the roof. Wet or remove shrubs within 15 feet of the home.

Emergency Supplies

When wildfire threatens, you won't have time to shop or search for supplies. Assemble a disaster supply kit with items you may need if advised to evacuate. Store these supplies in sturdy, easy-to-carry containers such as backpacks, dufflebags, or trash containers.

Include:

  • A three-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and food that won't spoil.
  • One change of clothing and footwear per person and one blanket or sleeping bag per person.
  • A first aid kit that includes your family's prescription medications.
  • Emergency tools including a battery-powered radio, flashlight, and plenty of extra batteries.
  • An extra set of car keys and a credit card, cash, or traveler's checks.
  • Sanitation supplies.
  • Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members.
  • An extra pair of eyeglasses.
  • Keep important family documents in a waterproof container. Assemble a smaller version of your kit to keep in the trunk of your car.