This year we have seen wildfires all over the globe. Whether caused by natural factors like prolonged dry weather and lightning, accidents like fallen power lines in California, troublesome kids in Tennessee, or potential acts of terrorism in Israel, the result will always be deadly. The only good thing about wildfires is that they usually come with warning thanks to monitoring and the brave groups of men and women that put themselves in harm’s way to fight the flames. So, with proper planning and awareness you can greatly reduce your risks in case of a wildfire, here are some tips on how.
- Plan Ahead: If you live in an area that is at risk for wildfires then you need to have a plan, and a backup plan. Primarily the plan should involve evacuation from the danger zone. Local firefighters could assist you in developing your exit routes, but it is up to you to familiar yourself with these routes. Your plan evacuation should be practiced, and not just theoretical. Keep in mind that if you are fleeing a fire your route may be blocked and you may need to change plans, and that visibility is likely to be affected by smoke.
- Stay Aware: Keep informed of fires in your area. If there is news of fire, increase your level of preparedness to evacuate. Knowing where the fire is, and forecasted weather will help you determine which route to take in leaving.
- Don’t get Greedy: When it’s time to leave, get yourself and your family, and the family pet if you have one in the car and get out. Don’t start loading in flat screens and jewelry, just get out. If you are going to bring anything, bring a chainsaw (fueled), dust masks, and if you have them bring portable fire shelters.
- Keep Your Head: As frightening as it must be to have fire bearing down on you panic will only make it worse. If your escape is blocked and you are forced to take a route you did not plan for be mindful that fire tends to travel faster uphill than down, fire races through valleys and confined areas that create a chimney effect, and that it might be safer to flee to an area that has already burned despite how hot is still is than fleeing to an area that is full of dry fuel waiting to be burned.
Don’t dismiss the danger of a wildfire in your area, take the proper steps to stay safe as soon you can.
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