Protect yourself during a wildfire

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Learn how you can protect yourself and your family during a wildfire.

Fire Factor simplifies complex wildfire risk data into an easy to understand score that helps people protect themselves and their property. Be prepared and stay alert if a wildfire is approaching your area. Be sure to follow news alerts and recommendations of local officials.

Prepare your home

  • Move patio or deck furniture, cushions, door mats etc indoors or as far away from the home, shed and garage as possible - a ‘defensible space’ cleared of any and all combustible materials for at least 5 feet is recommended around structures. 
  • Close all openings, including attic and basement doors and vents, windows, garage doors and pet doors to protect from embers coming into your home. 
  • Connect garden hoses and fill any pools, hot tubs, garbage cans, tubs, or other large containers with water. 
  • Shut off your home’s gas supply, turn off pilot lights, and close the supply valve if you have a propane tank to prevent fueling the fire.
  • Turn on all lights inside to make your home more visible in smoke
  • Open or take down flammable curtains and drapes

Stay Alert

  • Download several live fire tracking tools such as AirNow’s Fire and Smoke map or the USDA’s Forest Service wildfire tracker 
  • Set up alerts from your local news and local weather stations to keep you up to speed on any nearby threats and the direction they are traveling. 
  • Consider keeping a battery operated radio handy incase of power outages.
  • Check your evacuation routes and exits in your fire tracking tool to understand if any are closed off or at risk. 

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The USDA’s Forest Service wildfire tracker. Source

Get ready

  • Determine where to go, assign a meeting place in case you are separated 
  • Prepare an emergency kit list and an emergency contact list to help you stay up to date on fire progress
  • Be sure to take your emergency kit with any important documents, your N95 masks and prepared food or clothing in case you are unable to return for an extended period of time. 
  • Consider any necessary medicine, water, and a first aid kit.
  • Tell your own emergency contact what route you plan to take and where you plan to meet or stay. Let them know approximately what time you will get there and follow up when you arrive so they know you are safe.  

Act early

  • Check your local emergency notifications and evacuation systems. 
  • Remain alert on fires in nearby communities and leave well before the threat reaches your community or neighborhood.
  • Remain calm and evacuate immediately, drive at regular speeds with windows rolled up and headlights on

Learn more

Prepare for a wildfire

Returning home after a wildfire

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