Disaster Preparedness: Wildfire Disaster Plan

"Elk Bath" – A wildfire in the Bitte...

"Elk Bath" – A wildfire in the Bitterroot National Forest in Montana, United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wildfire can spread like . . . ‘erm . . . wildfire . . . which might not give you much of a chance to organize yourself. That’s why it’s really important that, as part of your disaster preparedness, you have a wildfire disaster plan. Your wildfire disaster plan must be prepared well in advance of any wildfire, and all members of your family must be familiar with it. Every family wildfire disaster plan will be slightly different, but they all need to take into account the same types of things.

Wildfire Disaster Plan – Evacuation Plan

  • You must designate an emergency meeting area which is outside the fire hazard area. That way you’ll be able to determine immediately who has been safely evacuated and whether anybody is missing.
  • You need to determine a variety of different escape routes from your home, and from your community. Practice them from time to time, with your entire family.
  • Make sure that your evacuation plan includes pets and large animals like horses.
  • Designate a friend or family member who lives out of the area as your single point of communication, that way, if you get separated you’ll all be able to contact one person who can then call or message everyone else involved.

Wildfire Disaster Plan – Be Prepared

  • Fire extinguishers at the ready! Make sure that there are always fire extinguishers on hand, and that all members know how to use them. You should also regularly check the expiration dates.
  • Utilities shut off is an important part of any disaster preparedness plan. Make sure that your family know where and how to shut off the water, electricity and gas supplies to the house.
  • Emergency supply kits are needed for all types of disaster. Make sure that yours is up to date and handy to be grabbed as you evacuate. An emergency supply kit is no good to you if you can’t find it in a hurry!
  • Emergency telephone numbers should be clearly displayed at all times, close to the telephone, in your emergency supply kit, stored on your cell phone etc.
  • Stay Updated on the latest wildfire disaster news with a portable radio or scanner.
  • Look out for your neighbors in any disaster situation. Tell them about your wildfire disaster plan and encourage them to make a wildfire disaster plan of their own.

Always be READY, get SET and GO as soon as you need to evacuated . . . don’t hang around or it might be too late.

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