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Pre-Evacuation Preparation Steps

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Pre-Evacuation Preparation Steps

It's hard to imagine what people are going through with  the wild fires out west.  It got me to thinking about what would I take and how would I go about it, so I decided to share this list of pre-evacuation steps with you in hopes that none of us will ever have to use it. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to those in the path of this disastrous blaze.  Be safe this summer and stay aware of any weather happenings that could affect you or your home. When an evacuation is anticipated, follow these checklists (if time allows) to give your home the best chance of surviving a wildfire:

Inside the House

  • Shut all windows and doors, leaving them unlocked.
  • Remove flammable window shades, curtains and close metal shutters.
  • Remove lightweight curtains.
  • Move flammable furniture to the center of the room, away from windows and doors.
  • Shut off gas at the meter. Turn off pilot lights.
  • Leave your lights on so firefighters can see your house under smoky conditions.
  • Shut off the air conditioning.

Outside

  • Gather up flammable items from the exterior of the house and bring them inside (patio furniture, children’s toys, door mats, trash cans, etc.) or place them in your pool.
  • Turn off propane tanks.
  • Move propane BBQ appliances away from structures.
  • Connect garden hoses to outside water valves or spigots for use by firefighters.
  • Fill water buckets and place them around the house.
  • Don’t leave sprinklers on or water running, they can affect critical water pressure.
  • Leave exterior lights on so your home is visible to firefighters in the smoke or darkness of night.
  • Put your Emergency Supply Kit in your vehicle.
  • Back your car into the driveway with vehicle loaded and all doors and windows closed. Carry your car keys with you.
  • Have a ladder available and place it at the corner of the house for firefighters to quickly access your roof.
  • Seal attic and ground vents with pre-cut plywood or commercial seals.
  • Patrol your property and monitor the fire situation. Don’t wait for an evacuation order if you feel threatened.
  • Check on neighbors and make sure they are preparing to leave.

Animals

    • Locate your pets and keep them nearby.
    • Prepare farm animals for transport and think about moving them to a safe location early.
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    • Joanne Loftus
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