Staying Safe When a Wildfire Is Near
A wildfire is a fire that is unplanned and that burns in a natural area such as a forest, grassland, or prairie. Fire in these types of unclosed space can often get out of hand and become disastrous. Even while it is under control, the smoke and fumes can pose a severe threat.
When such is the scenario, few guidelines would be of immense help.
- Evacuate immediately if authorities tell you to do so.
- Call 911 if you are trapped and give your location. Understand that emergency response may be delayed or impossible.
- Listen to local alert systems for emergency information and instructions for your area.
- Use N95 masks if available to keep from breathing harmful particles.
- If you are not ordered to evacuate, but conditions worsen, stay inside in a safe location.
However, safety should start before a wildfire occurs.
- Sign up for emergency alerts broadcasted by the authorities such as Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio.
- Get familiar with the evacuation routes and shelter locations in your community.
- Have emergency supplies such as N95 respirator masks. Emergency supplies should take into consideration specific needs – physical, medical, and age-related needs.
- Select a room. Use a portable air cleaner to keep pollution levels down. Ensure the room can be sealed off – doors, windows, and door cracks. It is also helpful to keep home surroundings free of leaves, debris, or flammable materials.
- Keep essential documents in a fireproof, safe place. Have a password-protected digital backup as well.
After the fire, follow these steps:
- Return home if authorities say it is safe to do so. The same goes for drinking water.
- Stay alert to hot embers, flooding due to the changing landscape and other information issued by authorities.
- Use fire-resistant materials to rebuild, renovate, or make repairs. A professional restoration company like SERVPRO of Citrus Heights/Roseville and Carmichael can help.