The drought may be over for most of California, but that doesn’t mean the threat of wildfires is gone. In fact, many fire experts agree that this summer the threat may be even worse. The weather has only started to heat up, but the Central California Region has already seen thousands of acres burned due to fast moving grass and wild fires.
That’s why it is so important for us to be prepared for what is already shaping up to be a busy wildfire season. Here’s five steps that you can take to make sure you’re ready:
- Know your risk and stay informed. Make sure everyone in your family is familiar with the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS). Keep an eye on the weather, especially humidity and wind levels. Pay attention to red flag warnings in your community.
- Clear your defensible space.
By clearing brush and other debris within 100 feet of your house, you greatly improve your home’s chances of surviving a wildfire.
- Review your homeowner’s insurance policies. Prepare or update a list of your home’s contents. Store digital copies of your insurance paperwork, other important documents, and photographs on an easy-to-grab thumb drive or in secure cloud storage.
- Get a kit and make a plan. Keep essential items in an emergency preparedness kit that you can take with you in the event of an evacuation. Make sure to include food, water, medications, and hygiene items. Get the full list of recommended supplies here. Every member of the family should be prepared for disasters big and small – not just wildfires. Make sure everyone knows how to respond to a disaster, and can get out of the home in two minutes or less.
- Download the Red Cross Emergency App. Get more emergency preparedness knowledge at your fingertips, and even find shelter locations near your during a disaster with the free Red Cross Emergency App for smartphones and tablets.
When fires strike in our community, the Red Cross will always be there to help. But by following these important steps, the process of responding to and recovering from a wildfire will be much easier for every member of your family.