Tips for National Wildfire Preparedness Week
May 04, 2019 07:36AM
From Boreal Community Media - May 4, 2019
Saturday is National Wildfire Communit Preparedness Day. Here are some Wildfire Community Preparedness Day Project Ideas from the National Fire Protection Association
Projects that reduce wildfire risk and increase preparedness can be accomplished by people of all ages and a variety of time commitments. You might be asking, “What can I do in a day to help stay safer from wildfire?” The answer is a lot!
To help get you started, we’ve developed more than two dozen project ideas for individuals, families and groups. With the youngest participants in mind, most can be accomplished without power tools or monetary costs:
� Rake and remove pine needles and dry leaves within a minimum of 3 to 5 feet of a home’s founda-tion. As time permits, continue up to a 30-foot distance around the home. Dispose of collected debris in appropriate trash receptacles.
� Measure how close wood piles are located to the home. If closer than 30 feet, move them at least 30 feet away from structures. Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire screening no larger than 1/8” mesh to help keep embers out during a fire.
� Sweep porches and decks, clearing them of leaves and pine needles. Rake under decks, porches, sheds, and play structures. Dispose of debris.
� On mature trees, use hand pruners and loppers to remove low-hanging tree branches up to a height of 4 feet from the ground (specific height depends on the type and size of tree). Collect downed tree limbs and broken branches and take them to a disposal site.
� Remove items stored under decks and porches and relocate them to a storage shed, garage, or basement. Gasoline cans and portable propane tanks should never be stored indoors and should be located away from the home.
� Distribute wildfire safety information to neighbors or staff on a table at a grocery or hardware store (other high-traffic locations work, too) and distribute free Firewise USA® and emergency pre- paredness materials.
� Join forces with neighbors and pool your resources to pay for a chipper service to remove slash.
� Visit the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association website and download free home inventory software. Work together as a family to take video and photos of your possessions – that way you’ll have the insurance documentation needed to replace belongings.
� Create a family communication plan and build or update a 72-hour evacuation kit for you, your family and your pets.
� Contact the local Office of Emergency Management and ask if your jurisdiction requires individuals to register cell phones to receive emergency notifications on mobile devices. If yes, register your number and those of your family.
� Can you see your home’s address number from the street? If not, trim overgrown vegetation covering or blocking the numbers on homes in your neighborhood in case firefighters need to find you.
� Using social media or text messaging, use Wildfire Community Preparedness Day as the day to send
Firewise USA® and emergency preparedness tips to your contacts and friends.
� Help an elderly relative or neighbor enter emergency numbers and the names of close relatives into their cell phones. Using large type, post their phone number and street address above their landline phone so it can easily be seen when providing information to an emergency dispatcher.
� Locate two alternate routes out of your neighborhood (besides the one normally used) and plan and practice a family evacuation drill using those secondary routes.
� Young adults who babysit outside the home need to talk to the parents. By doing so, they’ll learn the family’s emergency plan and what to do if a wildfire starts or an evacuation is ordered while they are in that leadership role.
� Work with neighbors to develop a phone tree that can be used to alert everyone about a fire or evacuation.
� Hold a garage sale and donate the proceeds to your local fire department’s wildland fire team. Additional information and resources can be found at nfpa.org/wildfireprepday.