How to Prepare for a Wildfire
Wildfires are like any other natural disaster; they can be spontaneous and devastating. Mother Nature doesn’t let up for anyone, leaving us left with only one choice; prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Depending on the scenario and environmental conditions, wildfires can lead to a significant amount of fire damage, houses destroyed and lives lost, leaving behind it only destruction and ashes. The only thing left for us to do is to fight through it, overcome it and prepare for damage the next wildfire brings.
Pay Attention to Weather Conditions
A wildfire only needs three elements to start:
- High Winds (Optional)
- A Bizarre Occurrence: Something that ignites the fire, such as lightning.
The best way to foresee a wildfire is to follow weather patterns and conditions. Pay close attention to trends or unusual patterns in dryness or high winds. A wildfire’s main source of power is dry weather conditions. High winds will only fuel the flames causing rapid growth, which results in greater damage and higher risk of danger for people.
Check Smoke & Fire Detectors
Never be caught off guard. A wildfire can strike at any time. Check and double check the functionality of all smoke and fire detectors. Remember to change the batteries every six months.
Have a Plan
Understand the layout of the city. People that don’t know the city in depth will stick to main roads, which means traffic congestion. Avoid high traffic areas if possible and be able to reroute yourself without getting lost. There are many guides out there geared to help you make a plan for an emergency situation, here is an example of one, Emergency Preparedness Guide.
Have a Contingency Plan
Nothing says preparedness more than a contingency plan.
Fill Up the Gas Tank
The worst possible case of unpreparedness is an empty gas tank during an emergency situation. When it comes to fleeing a wildfire, the last thing you need is to have to fill up your gas tank. And guess what? Several others will need to do the same thing, which means more congestion. Avoid congestion at all times if possible. Sometimes it only takes being prepared.
Always Have an Emergency Kit on Hand
It is important to always be prepared for any disaster, the best way to do this is to purchase or build an emergency kit consisting of enough food, water, sanitary and other supplies to help you survive for at least 3 days. There are many emergency kits out there but you want to make sure you are getting the right kit, with the best supplies for your money. Here is an example of a Premium Emergency Kit that you should have in your home or keep in your car.
Keep Extra Water & Food Handy
Store extra water and food close by. Make sure the food is light and already prepared, such as granola bars, and the water in plastic containers. Ideally, keep the food and water in a cooler or a single container so it’s easier to carry. It is encouraged to have emergency food and water always on hand, a few examples are water pouches which have a 5 Year Shelf Life, MRE’s and food bars.
Store Additional Apparel Nearby
You’ll need to be on the road quickly and won’t have time to pack. Keep an extra back pack full of clothes and hygiene products nearby for emergency traveling situations. Whether it’s either on foot or by car, a back pack full of necessities will be handy.
Carry a Fire Blanket
In the most dangerous and damaging instances during a wildfire, a fire blanket is a must and can draw the line between surviving or not. These can be somewhat pricey, but if you live in an area that regularly has wildfire damage, then it might be a good investment. It’s not every day an investment will save your life.
To be unprepared for a wildfire can result in a life of peril for not only those affected, but those who willingly give their time and maybe even their own lives in order to help others get theirs back on track. Although the devastation and damage a wildfire leaves behind can be life altering, it does, however, give those affected one final choice; find hope in working together and continue to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Even when all hope seems to be lost from the result of wildfire damage, teamwork has the gift to restore anyone’s faith and continue to prepare for Mother Nature’s unexpected and devastating wrath.
About the author
Sam Ott writes on behalf of Paul Davis Restoration of Kansas City, experts in fire damage restoration. Find out other tips on fire prevention.