With hotter temperatures and drier conditions, wildfire season is here. If you live in an area affected by these risks, it is crucial to know how to prepare for wildfires, how to prevent wildfires, and what to expect in the case of an evacuation. While preparing for wildfire season may sound daunting, being well-informed and prepared is the best way to ensure you and your family stay safe.
WILDFIRE PREVENTION GUIDELINES
More than 85% of all wildfires are started by people leaving campfires unattended, burning debris, and misusing equipment. 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. Do not use your grill if inclement weather is forecasted, as it may prevent proper clean up and disposal of lit materials. Always have a fire extinguisher or water source nearby.
Remember that wildfire can spread quickly, giving you little time to evacuate. Know your community’s evacuation plan and routes to leave your area. Before wildfire season, know the location of shelters close to you and have a plan for pets.
Gather enough emergency supplies to last your family a few days, including medication, baby items like diapers or formula, pet items like food or litter, bottled water, and non-perishable food items.
Keep wildfire smoke outside. Select a room in your home to close off from outside air. Set up a portable air cleaner/purifier to keep the air in that room free from smoke.
Keep track of fires in your area and be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice.
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 be thoroughly prepared:
Store your Emergency Supply Kit in a portable container, such as a plastic storage bin, that you can easily take when you leave.
Keep printed maps in your vehicle with multiple routes highlighted in case of a cell phone service outage.
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 the pilot lights of appliances.
Leave lights on so firefighters can see your home.
Turn off the 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.
If the base announces an evacuation, Liberty 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.
Preparing for wildfire season requires time and planning, but ensuring you and your family stay safe in the event of a wildfire is essential.