Fire Season: Do You Have an Evacuation Plan?

Fire Safety

Last winter’s rain helped us get out from under a long drought, but it also has led to what looks to be a long and difficult fire season.  Are you prepared to evacuate from your location?  This article can help you get ready.

Be informed:

The California Department of Forestry has excellent resources that are worth looking at.

  • Current fires in California shows maps and status of current and past fires.  This is the best site I’ve found for up to date information of fires, evacuation notices, road closures, and fire incident updates.
  • CAL FIRE Launches New Ready for Wildfire App: This could be really useful.  The app runs on iPhone (and other iOS devices) and Android.
    To download the app, visit the App Store or the Google Play Store – search for CAL FIRE and install it.  I’ll report back here after I check it out.

Right now, while you’re thinking about it, put together a evacuation checklist and materials containing the following:

  • Critical medications.
  • Important personal papers, photos.
  • Essential valuables.
  • Pet and livestock transport, limited amount of pet food.
  • Change of clothing, toiletries.
  • Cell phone.
  • Critical papers and effects in a fire-proof safe.
  • An Evacuation Route Map with at least two routes.*
  • Drive your planned route of escape before an actual emergency.*

*During an evacuation, law enforcement/ emergency personnel may determine your route

It’s a good idea to learn how quickly you can get up and out of your house in an emergency.   We’re going to practice it at our home, and our guess is that it would take us 10 minutes to get me out of bed, into my power chair, and out of the house with the pets.  I suggest timing how long that takes next time you get up, without rushing or compromising your safety.  This will be your baseline, the time to improve on if you can.

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