Springtime is a beautiful time of year – but it also begins the lead up to several dangerous weather related seasons. One such dangerous season is fire season, which runs from summer to fall, and is especially threatening to our western states.
The best time to prepare for fire season is before it starts – so here are some tips to help you stay safe during fire season.
If you live in an area that could be threatened by wildfires, you should make sure you have at safety zone of at least 30 feet around your home, and as much as 100 feet if you live in a pine forest. Are your plants fire-resistant? If not, you might consider replacing them with hardwoods. Regularly clean up fallen leaves, pine needles and other plant debris, especially from underneath structures, and trim away tree branches that could touch your roof or are at least 15 feet from a stovepipe. If any tree branches on your property touch power lines, contact your power company to come have them trimmed.
You can make your own disaster preparedness kit, and store items in an easily transportable container, such as a camper’s backpack or a duffel bag. Your kit should have a first-aid kit, some canned food and an opener, a battery powered radio and flashlight with plenty of extra batteries. You should also have a supply of drinking water; experts recommend about three gallons per person. You might also consider stashing away a small amount of cash in your disaster kit. Some weather resistant clothing – such as ponchos and rain boots – may also come in handy. Include copies of all your most important documentation in the disaster kit, such as insurance policies, wills, birth and marriage certificates, credit card and banking information, titles and deeds to your property. Place these items in waterproof bags in the kit, or in a fireproof safe, if you have one. As a double precaution, send copies of your important documentation to a relative or friend who lives in another state or region.
If you haven’t prepared a household inventory, it is also advisable to do this, and you can do it either with a video camera, a Polaroid or digital camera or by taking notes. Include copies of the tapes or notes in your water- or fire-proof safe havens.