California is an amazing place to call home. But with this privilege comes the threat of disasters from any number of hazards in almost every part of the state. It is imporant to be prepared for the unthinkable.
Please see the printable family disaster plan to fill out and keep in a visible location in your home. I hope you find it useful.
Two other great resources are https://www.ready.gov where you can find info on making a disaster preparation kit, identifying evacuation routes, and other pertinent information; and http://www.wildlandfirersg.org for fire specific preparation information.
WILDFIRE SAFETY TIPS
- Listen to your local media for updates on the fire and be ready to leave quickly. Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing your direction of escape.
- Keep your pets in one room so you can find them quickly if you have to evacuate.
- Arrange for a temporary place to stay outside the threatened area.
- Keep your indoor air clean – close windows and doors to prevent the smoke outside from getting in your home.
- Use the recycle mode on the air conditioner in your home or car. If you don’t have air conditioning and it’s too hot to be inside, seek shelter somewhere else.
- If smoke levels are high, don’t use anything that burns and adds to air pollution inside such as candles, fireplaces and gas stoves.
Don’t go home until fire officials say it is safe. Be cautious entering a burned area – hazards could still exist.
- Avoid damaged or downed power lines, poles and wires.
- Keep your animals under your direct control. Hidden embers and hot spots could burn them.
- Wet down debris to minimize breathing dust particles.
- Wear leather gloves and shoes with heavy soles.
- Throw out any food that has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot.
- Recheck for smoke or sparks throughout your home for several hours after the fire, including in your attic. Wildfire winds can blow burning embers anywhere so check for embers that could cause a fire.
PREPARING FOR A FIRE
Ten things firefighters tell their own families about how to prepare:
- Have an emergency supply kit ready and in your car. Make sure valuables are in a secure location, either in a safe or packed securely in your vehicle.
- Keep your car's gas tank full. Park facing out and keep car keys in an accessible location.
- Have two ways out of your community in case one way is blocked by fire.
- Decide on a pre-established meeting location and out of area contact person in case of separation.
- Plan ahead, prepare pets for transport and think about moving them to a safe location early, especially large pets and livestock.
- Stay tuned to local media, verified social media accounts and emergency notification systems.
- Connect with your neighbors and share verified information.
- If you do not feel safe, then don’t wait to evacuate! Those with young children, elderly and people with disabilities in the home should plan ahead and evacuate early.
- If a fire starts near you, follow all emergency personnel direction. Leave as soon as evacuation is ordered by emergency officials or if you feel unsafe to avoid being caught in fire, smoke or road congestion.
- Stay calm and stay alert!
View the printable family disaster plan here: