Emergency Preparedness Article 3: Preparing for Wildfires

Preparing for Wildfires

Wildfire season is upon us. For both organizations and volunteers, there are important steps to adequately prepare. Certain parts of Colorado are more susceptible to wildfires. Moreover, frequent drought, extreme heat, and insect infestation contribute to higher risk. Colorado Emergency Management has created an informative video about wildfires. Below you will find a few of the suggestions offered in the clip, specifically in regard to preparation. To watch the full video and learn about the other steps that should be considered, click here.

  • Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan. Ready.gov is a beneficial resource with a page dedicated to what should be included in a Basic Disaster Supplies Kit, Additional Supplies, Managing Your Kit, and Kit Storage Locations. Follow the link here, for more information.
  • Know more than one exit route in case one is closed. This is especially important for evacuation- one should take a route far away from the fire.
  • Take steps to maintain a safe property. Plant fire resistant shrubs or trees, remove leaves from the roof, inspect chimneys at least twice a year, and clean the chimney at least once per year. The video lists more steps as well!
  • Inside one’s home, install a dual sensor smoke alarm on every level of the house.
  • Teach each family member how to use a fire extinguisher and make sure everyone knows where it is located. Additionally, keep a ladder in a safe place.
  • Prepare a “safety zone” around your property. Contact your local fire department or forestry department for a clear understanding for how large the zone should be.
  • Follow local burning regulations.

Along with preparation, the video lays out steps to consider during evacuation. Make sure to take your emergency kit and take a route far away from the fire. Keeping communications current is important as well. Inform someone when you leave and where you plan on going. Additionally, keep updated via radio, television, and through online platforms. Check the Colorado Emergency website for shelter information. After a fire, do not enter one’s home until officials have said it is safe to do so. Coloradans should be informed and prepared for wildfire season. We have a few additional resources for wildfire information as well as volunteer resources. While this list is certainly not comprehensive, we hope this blog provides a broad overview and a few key steps for wildfire preparedness.

Colorado Emergency Management

Colorado State Forest Service

Colorado VOAD

Ready.gov/wildfires

Red Cross Wildfire Safety

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