Stop for a minute to imagine the scary sight of a line of quickly moving fire approaching your home. Imagine the popping of trees falling over as they succumb to the heat and ash pouring down from the sky. The air will be thick with smoke and hard to breathe. Your eyes may sting. You may have to get out immediately. Are you ready to respond when safety officers knock on your door and tell you to leave?
1. Keep fuel in your tank.
This advice is essential for pretty much any emergency. If a wildfire is approaching your area, you need to be able to escape as soon as possible. The last thing you’ll want to do is wait in line for gas. A good rule of thumb is to fill up your car whenever the gauge shows it’s half empty.
2. Have a plan.
If your home is on fire or a wildfire is approaching, you are responsible for the safety of your family and pets. Fire can spread extremely quickly so you may not have much time to react. Make sure your family is aware of your escape plan and what to do in case of an emergency.
Know all of the possible exits from each room in your home. Always make sure your smoke alarms are working. Choose a meeting place for your family to congregate after they escape. Make sure your plan does not rely on cell phones or radios, as these may not be reliable during an emergency.
3. Know your escape routes.
Even if you’ve lived in your city for many years, you should always have a clear understanding of the best escape routes. Before you hit the road, check the weather patterns and wind conditions to make sure you don’t accidentally get yourself in another dangerous situation.
4. Stock your bug out bag.
Make sure you have a bug-out bag packed with food, water and tools that you need to survive in case you’re stranded away from home. This bag should be easy for you to grab quickly as you leave your home. It’s a good idea to keep a bug out bag in your vehicle as well, in case you’re away from home when disaster strikes.
5. Understand your insurance.
If you have homeowner’s insurance, make sure you understand the coverage for fire. Keep a copy of your insurance policy in a fireproof safe, and make sure you include copies of your policy in your bug out bag.