Blog – Disaster Preparedness, Fire and Smoke Damage

Create a defense shield and know how to escape a wildfire

With the warmer weather are the increased chances of a wildfire. By following a few suggestions, you can improve the chances that your family and home will survive a wildfire with minimal damages.

Create a Defense Shield: Fire-Resistant Landscaping

When landscaping your property keep in mind how fire-resistant it is. Establish “zones” for every 0–30 feet, 30–100/300 feet, and 100/300+ feet. The 0 – 30-foot-zone should be sparsely planted with lawns, small shrubs and low-fire-potential trees.

When planning the second zone, or the “transition zone’, determine its length by taking into consideration any slopes on the property. If your house is on a slope, the second zone should extend up to 300 feet. Homes on level property can extend their zone to 100 feet. The transition zone should be thinned of natural vegetation. By planting fire-resistant species of flora, you can also create an effective secondary fire buffer zone.

Finally, the third zone is generally comprised of the natural landscape.

There are many federal, state, and private websites that provide excellent information on how to accomplish fire-resistant landscaping, and provide excellent lists of vegetation that is resistant to fire.

Know How to Escape

Begin making a wildfire preparedness plan by creating a family evacuation plan. Having an evacuation plan that the entire family knows will help get everyone out of the home quickly and safely. Make sure everyone know the main route to get out of a home from their bed room, along with an alternate route. Also plan exits the family should use if they are in a different area of a home when a fire breaks out. By having multiple evacuation paths planned, your family will be less likely to panic when trying to escape. In your wildfire preparedness plan, include a plan for recovery.

Also plan driving routes with your family and keep detailed maps in every car. Talk to your local firefighters in advance to see what they suggest would be good driving routes, and what streets are more likely to be closed. In this plan, designate a meeting point for your family to go to should they be separated when there is an emergency.

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