National Preparedness Month serves as a reminder that we all must take action to prepare for emergencies and disasters in our own communities. Wildfires can happen anywhere in the U.S., and they are becoming more common every year. Wildfire preparation is more important than ever due to the increased risk of damage to your home, land, family, and loved ones.
Use these wildfire preparedness tips from the experts at ServiceMaster Restore® to help get everyone in your family prepared and confident in case a wildfire hits your community.
The Importance of Wildfire Preparedness
According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), wildfires are becoming a bigger risk because more people are living in areas that are susceptible to wildfires. In fact, in 2017 alone, over 56,000 wildfires burned more than 9 million acres of U.S. land. Since wildfires can occur quickly and often without warning, it's important to understand how you can prepare yourself, your family and your home from these specific disasters. If you don’t take adequate time to take wildfire safety precautions, your home may be in serious danger when it’s time to take action.
How To Prepare For a Wildfire
It’s increasingly likely that you will be affected by a wildfire at some point in your life. If you live in an at-risk area, follow the wildfire preparedness tips below to know when you need to take action.
1. Understand your risk. While wildfires can break out anywhere and at any time, they are more likely to begin during periods of little to no rainfall and high winds, according to Ready.gov. Check in with your local community resources to see if you have a designated wildfire season in your area.
2. Learn about your community. Find out if there are local emergency resources already set in place, including evacuation routes and predetermined shelters. That way, you can map out where to go and how to get there quickly if a wildfire were to break out.
3. Create an emergency communication plan. Since your family may not be together when a wildfire starts, you should make sure that everybody knows how to get in contact with each other and where to meet in case an evacuation order is given. If you need help with what to include in your communication plan or want printable communication cards that you can share with family members, use assets provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
4. Make an emergency preparedness kit. Place emergency items in a waterproof, lightweight container and store it in an area that can be easily accessed if you need to evacuate quickly Some items you may need include food, water, first aid kits, medication, flashlights, batteries, blankets and pet supplies. For a full list of items to include in a wildfire supply kit for your family and pets, use our emergency preparedness kit list.
5. Review your insurance. Check your current homeowners insurance policy to determine what may or not be covered in a wildfire. If your policy doesn't cover fire or smoke remediation services in the event of damage, you may want to call your insurance agent and add other coverage plans.
6. Prepare your home. Before wildfire season approaches, there are some things you can do to protect your home as much as possible. Learn how to prepare your home for wildfire season before the flames begin to try and keep your home safe from destruction and even hidden risks like wildfire smoke odors.
7. Spread the word. Get your friends and family members involved in the wildfire preparedness planning. That way, everyone in your community can confidently prepare for, respond to and recover from the risk of wildfires.
8. Stay informed. Receiving timely information can make all the difference in knowing when you must take action and stay safe. Listen for weather updates, emergency instructions or evacuation orders in your area. You can receive these notifications on local radio stations, TV networks or even through alerts on your mobile device.
By preparing before the unexpected happens, you can potentially save yourself from experiencing damage and loss. For more on disaster preparedness and other topics discussed during this year's National Preparedness Month, visit Ready.gov today.
Prepare For Wildfire Damage To Your Property
Remember that if the unexpected does happen, we'll be at your side to get your home back to normal as quickly as possible. Our fire and smoke damage removal services include fast action to mitigate loss, remove wildfire odors, and complete clean-up and restoration to get you back on your feet. As you are preparing for wildfire season, be aware of both hurricane preparedness and flood preparedness precautions. Being prepared is critical to lessen risk and keep your property safe.