How Can I Prepare For Wildfire Season?

With spring in full spring, summer is not far behind. While most people excited for the warmer weather, those living in areas at risk for wildfire are preparing for what is predicted to be another brutal fire season. Aside from moving, many people who find themselves in those at-risk areas are wondering what they can do to best prepare for wildfires.

The number one thing you can do is to listen to your local government officials and evacuate when you are told to. While you can’t avoid wildfires all together, you can come prepared! These are a few things every homeowner should do to be better prepared for the wildfire season.

Create A Plan
If you live in an area that is at risk for wildfires, one of the most important things you can do is have a plan. That plan should include an evacuation route, with a backup route in case your primary route is blocked or too crowded. Know where your local evacuation shelters are and have those areas programmed into your GPS or maps app.

You should have a bag ready to go, and make sure sure your family or housemates are all on board with this plan so everyone is on the same page in an emergency situation.

Protect Your Important Documents
If a wildfire is near your home, you might not have a lot of time to gather your things and evacuate. That’s why it’s so important to plan ahead and protect irreplaceable things like birth certificate, insurance documents and more. The best way to do this is to purchase a fireproof safe. You can then put all of those valuable documents in the safe knowing that even if your house burns down, you can get those back. It’s also a good ideal to create digital versions of each of these documents as well.

Stock An Emergency Kit
Creating an emergency kit ahead of time is one of the best things you can do for any emergency situation. We recommend keeping this kit in your car, that way you’ll always have it in an evacuation situation. You should stock your kit with whatever you would need to survive without a store for a while. That usually means: water, food, a flashlight, a first aid kit, warm clothes and a charger for your devices. If you are really concerned that you might be cut off from the world for a while, a hand-crank radio is always a good bet.

What To Do The Day Of
If there is a fire in your area, check for evacuation notices and be ready to leave quickly. Ready.gov put together a handy list of what to do if you are in a wildfire area:

  • If ordered to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • If you or a family member are trapped, call 911 immediately.
  • Return to your home or apartment only after local authorities report that it is safe to do so.
  • Use caution when entering burned areas, as they may still be hazardous and have heat pockets.
  • Wear a respirator certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and wet down any debris to limit dust particles.
  • Wildfires are a true natural disaster, and they seem to be happening more frequently every year. If you live in a wildfire area, it is important that you take the time to be prepared. Wildfires can often strike quickly, and without warning.
  • Of course, it’s also important to have the proper insurance policies if you live in an area that is at risk of wildfires.

To learn more about your current policy, or to inquire about a new one, reach out to TGS Insurance at www.tgsinsurance.com.

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