It's wildfire season: what you need to be ready.
We've all heard of someone unfortunately losing their home to a fire. The story is often the same. The wildfire quickly appeared, everything felt so sudden, and they felt very unprepared for both the fire itself and the subsequent loss. Pictures, clothes, toys, the home where all their family memories were created, all gone.
None of us want to suffer that kind of seemingly unbearable pain, but unfortunately with our earth’s temperature rising, thus resulting in more CO2 levels and more dry land, wildfires and home fires are here to stay. In fact, we’ve never been hotter.
That's why we all have to do our best to prepare for the worst, and, through step-by-step readiness and self-education, hope for the best. If you haven't downloaded the harbor app, now's the time!
So what do you do if you only have 2 minutes to evacuate?
Be crystal clear on exactly what you need and how you are going to leave.
What if you have 5 minutes?
Everyone in your household should have your plan memorized and practiced.
Do your kids know exactly what to do in case of a fire or emergency evacuation?
What do you grab and who do you call?
It’s not a bad idea to contact a family member out of state and ask them if you can rely on them for help should you be faced with such an emergency. Schedule timed practice evacuation drills.
It's not a bad idea to do all of this today either! Don’t wait. Don't worry.
Just be ready.
How to prepare right here, right now.
We know it might seem a little overwhelming, but trust us, once you check all of these things off your list you can embrace more peace of mind.
- Check your risk.
- Create an evacuation plan. Hang it somewhere. (See below, “Your two minute plan”)
- Prepare your home (Smoke alarms, CO2 alarms, fire safety box, pet safety etc)
- Have a 3-day bag packed for every family member and ready to go.
- A pair of shoes at the foot of your bed while you’re sleeping.
- If you’re in an area where wildfires are burning but you haven’t been told to evacuate - have your radio + phones on at all times.
- First aid kit in your car and your home.
- Water (Water you can easily grab and put in your car if needed)
- Respirators ready in your car and or home.
- Have a radio so you can be informed of alerts in your area.
- Check your smoke detectors and CO2 detectors once a week.
- During wildfire season, try to keep your gas tank full or have spare fuel you can grab quickly - so you are prepared to drive far in an emergency evacuation.
Check it off your list.
Wildfires can create harmful smoke for you to breathe EVEN IF that fire is hundreds of miles away. This stuff is just as harmful as second-hand cigarette smoke. Smoke is especially harmful for children, pregnant women, and those with asthma. Protect yourself and your family.
What do I grab?
Now is a good time to back up all of your photos on a hard-drive, have your journals, grandmother’s jewelry - things that are absolutely irreplaceable - all in one convenient, fire-proof box.
Make a very small list of valuables and keep them all in one safe small place that’s easy to grab. Ask your children what they would like to take in case of an emergency evacuation too. Have them put something in the box so they feel better prepared with you.
What should I have in my 3 day Go Bag?
Think like you’re going on vacation, pack clothes and toiletries, but also bring non-easily perishable food (think protein bars, dried fruit, nut-butter packets, etc.) and water. Pack a jacket. Think about your pet. Have some dog food in a sealed container for them in one of your Go Bags. Each family member should have their own Go Bag packed (WITH non-perishable food + water) and tennis shoes accessible at the foot of their beds in case of an emergency.
Ready to Go Bags.
Don't feel like going the DIY route? We've got several great options that are ready to go. Check out three of our favorites below. Note that you still need to add personal items like medication, a change of clothes, a local map, and important documents.