Reading Time: 2 Minutes, 24 Seconds
With hotter temperatures and drier conditions, wildfire season is here. If you live in an area affected by these risks, it is important to know how to prepare for wildfires, how to prevent wildfires, and what to expect in the case of an evacuation. While wildfire season may sound daunting, being well-informed can literally be a lifesaver! Read on to find resources and tips for preparing your home and family this season.
Wildfire Prevention Guidelines
More than 85% of all wildfires are caused by people. That means that wildfire prevention is critical to help stop wildfires from starting. Most wildfires are caused by people leaving campfires unattended, burning debris, and using equipment improperly. Prevent wildfires by following these guidelines:
- Don’t drive onto dry grass or overbrush. Hot components under your vehicle can cause a fire.
- Use caution any time you start a fire. Dispose of ashes properly. Never leave outdoor fires unattended. Make sure that all fires are completely extinguished before leaving an area.
- Keep gas grills and propane tanks at least 15 feet from any structure. If inclement weather is predicted, do not use your grill. Always have a fire extinguisher or water source nearby.
- Remember that wildfires can spread very quickly. This might give you little time to evacuate. Dry conditions, lack of rain, and improper use of fire and equipment can all contribute to wildfires. Get the facts and know what to do to stay safe.
- Know your community’s evacuation plans—recon routes to leave your area. Before wildfire season, know the location of shelters close to you. Have a plan for pets.
- Gather your emergency supplies.
- Keep wildfire smoke outside. Select a room in your home to close off from outside air. Set up a portable air cleaner to keep the air in that room clean even when it’s smokey outside.
- Keep track of fires in your area so you stay ready.
- AirNow’s Fires: Current Conditions has a map of fires throughout North America.
- NOAA’s Fire weather outlook page maps fire watches and warnings.
- Listen to the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio for emergency alerts.
Wildfire Home Evacuation Checklist
If your area is likely to be evacuated, follow this list to give you and your family the best chance of surviving a wildfire:
- Make sure your Emergency Supply Kit is ready to go
- Review your family’s Wildfire Action Plan
- Have a plan to go when it’s time to evacuate and review the best routes for leaving
Inside the House
- Close all windows and doors. Leave them unlocked.
- Remove flammable window shades and any curtains from the windows. Close metal shutters.
- Move flammable furniture to the center of rooms, away from windows and doors.
- Turn off the gas at the meter and turn off pilot lights.
- Leave lights on so firefighters can see your home.
- Shut off air conditioning.
Outside Your Home
- Gather up all flammable items and bring them inside.
- Turn off propane tanks. Move any propane appliances away from your home.
- Connect garden hoses to outside valves. Fill buckets with water and place them around your home.
Preparing for a wildfire involves many steps. It’s important to remember that your family can remain safe during wildfire season if you follow this protocol. If you have questions on how to best prepare, we’re here to help. Reach out to your local District Office or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay informed.
Please know that LMH will continue to coordinate with your local Command. If an evacuation is announced by the base, Lincoln Military Housing will replicate that alert to our residents using our Emergency Notification System, RedFlag. To ensure you receive RedFlag alerts, please update and verify any contact information with your local District Office.