Wild Fire Disaster Preparation - Part 1!

Wildfire Disaster[This post is written and copyrighted by FIRE Finance (http://firefinance.blogspot.com).]

The wildfires which are devastating California have already consumed hundreds of homes and burnt many thousands of acres of land. Most probably it is going to be one of the costliest natural calamities of the century. And the seven counties affected by this devastation have some of the most expensive real estate properties of US. In general, prices of houses and business properties of the affected areas are pretty high which will lead to losses to the tune of billions of dollars.

Last night when we called a few of our friends in San Diego, it was shocking to hear that they were undergoing evacuation. A few hours later when we touched base with them, they were on their way towards Los Angeles which was presumably safer. When they left their houses, the wildfires were about two to three miles away from their homes. At present there is no information about the state of their homes and belongings.

Since yesterday, we have been praying for the safety and protection of hundreds of thousands of citizens who have been evacuated or are currently homeless. This situation also led us to contemplate on how we can prepare ourselves to face such a situation should it ever arise in our lives. We did encounter a fire in an apartment complex when we lived in California, but windy wildfires are totally different beasts.

Emergency Kit

Emergency KitThe first thing that needs to be ready when we have to evacuate within a very short time is an emergency kit. When wildfire threatens, we won't have time to shop or search for supplies. So it makes sense to assemble a disaster supply kit with items that we may need if advised to evacuate. So how do we go about preparing an emergency kit?
  • We would need sturdy easy-to-carry containers such as backpacks, duffel bags or trash containers to store our emergency supplies.
  • A three-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day).
  • Food that won't spoil.
  • One change of clothing and footwear per person.
  • A first aid kit that includes our family's prescription medications.
  • Emergency tools, including battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of batteries.
  • An extra set of car & home keys, a credit card, cash or traveler's checks.
  • Sanitation supplies.
  • Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members.
  • An extra pair of eyeglasses.
  • Important family documents (SSN card, driver's license, insurance paperwork, passport, essential medical reports, degrees & certificates, all immigration related paperwork for immigrants, financial documents like certificates of deposits, checkbooks, disks with data of different bank and brokerage accounts, etc) stored in a waterproof container.
  • A PDA or printout with contact information of friends and relatives, shelters, hospitals and emergency centers.
  • Assemble a smaller version of our kit (without valuables like keys, cash, credit cards or important documents) to keep in the trunk of our cars.
Wild FireWhat actions are to be taken when wildfire threatens?

If we are warned that a wildfire is threatening our area, we should listen to our TV or battery-operated radio for reports and evacuation information. The safest bet is to follow the instructions of local officials. And it pays to always remember that personal safety comes first! If we live to see another day we can always rebuild our possessions.
  • Take our Emergency Supplies Kit.
  • Back our car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape.
  • Shut doors and roll up windows. Leave the key in the ignition. Close garage windows and doors, but leave them unlocked.
  • Disconnect automatic garage door openers.
  • Confine pets to one room. Make plans to care for our pets in case we must evacuate.
  • Arrange temporary housing at a friend's or relatives' home outside the threatened area.
  • If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Know at least two exit routes from our neighborhood in case of emergency evacuation.
  • Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes, cotton or woolen clothing, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves and a handkerchief to protect our face.
  • Lock our home.
  • Tell someone when we are leaving and where we are going.
  • Choose a route away from fire hazards. Watch for changes in the speed and direction of fire and smoke.
  • If we're sure that we have time, take steps to protect our home.
  • Close windows, vents, doors, Venetian blinds or non-combustible window coverings and heavy drapes.
  • If we have a few hours before we evacuate, we may pack some valuables and keep them in the car if we plan to drive away.
Let us all join our hands in prayers for all those who are affected in the disastrous wildfires burning away beautiful California.

To take care of our homes and belongings, it pays to know before any disaster strikes, what our inventory is and the details of our insurance policies with respect to natural calamities. These domains have been covered in details in Wildfire Disaster Preparation - Part 2.

If our site interests you, please extend your support by subscribing to our feed. This will help us deliver our stories to your feed reader where you can read it with pleasure in your own sweet leisure.

Reference(s): All State - You are in Good Hands!

Image Source(s): iStockPhoto

Related Posts