How to protect your family and home.
Preparing for wildfires
According to the Red Cross, you can lessen the impact of wildfires—or even prevent them—by following some basic rules:
- Report hazardous conditions that could start a wildfire
- Teach children fire safety
- Post fire emergency phone numbers in your home
- Plan escape routes by car and by foot
- Coordinate a neighborhood wildfire plan
Protecting your home
Protect your house from wildfire damage by making sure you have an outside water source and a garden hose long enough to reach all structures on your property.
The Red Cross and other experts advise creating a 30- to 100-foot safety zone around your house, depending on its location and your area’s wildfire risk. Your local fire department can offer guidance regarding your specific situation.
To create a fire safety zone, you should:
- Thin trees in the safety zone to at least a 15-foot space between crowns
- Remove tree limbs within 15 feet of the ground
- Remove leaves, dead limbs, twigs and other flammable vegetation from the ground
- Remove any vines or dead branches that cover your house
In the event of a wildfire
If a wildfire threatens your home, you may need to prepare to evacuate. Follow the instructions of emergency personnel. If you are advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
The Red Cross suggests taking these precautionary measures when a wildfire threatens your home:
- Prepare your car so that you can leave quickly if necessary.
- Wear protective clothing—sturdy shoes, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and carry a handkerchief to protect your face.
Pack emergency supplies—enough food and water for three days, a first aid kit, and emergency tools such as a battery-powered radio, a flashlight and extra batteries