How to prepare for an evacuation as wildfires spread

Wildfires

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Because of the unpredictable nature of wildfires, evacuation orders may come without a warning. Fire officials are stressing the importance of being prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.

“I want your viewers to understand the importance of being prepared to leave. I want them to be proactive, not reactive,” Cal Fire Public Information Officer Joshua Rubinstein said. 

Napa County Sheriff’s Office tweeted out a video showing the severity of the wildfires and how quickly they can spread.

To give your home the best possible chance at surviving a wildfire, follow these steps from Cal Fire:

Preparing for an evacuation:

Inside the house:

  • Have your Emergency Supply Kit/Evacuation Bag ready to go
  • Ensure a Wildfire Action Plan is prepared ahead of time
  • Make sure you know your community’s emergency response plan and have a plan on where to go when it is time to evacuate, and best routes for leaving your location.
  • 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 the house:

  • 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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