Are you ready to leave your home immediately because of a wildfire?
Low humidity, high winds, and no rain is the perfect combination for a brush fire to start. The recent weather conditions have created several fires in our area, and most are being contained, but have you prepared in case you are asked to evacuate?
Wildfire mitigation specialist Samantha Quinn says that the Florida Forrest Service respond to wildfires year round. A resident who lives near any wooded area should take the necessary steps to prevent wildfire and prepare in case you are asked to evacuate,
“We want to make sure that residents are prepared for wildfires. Making sure their homes are firewire, having good defensible space, anything that is dry or dead on the home around the home make sure that’s away so if there are any embers around it does not add fuel to your structure. Secondly, we want to make sure that everyone has an evacuation plan. We want everyone to be prepared that when a wildfire comes through that, you have all your valuables.”
In the ideal world, everyone would be prepared for a fire and ready to evacuate immediately, but if you are not don’t worry. The Federal Management Agency has the Five Ps of evacuation. This way you know what valuables to grab.
The first P is people. Always consider any specific needs any family members have and if you have a chance consider having a plan for your pets or livestock. The second P is for prescription. Make sure you take any medication you might need with the number of dosages and any medical equipment you or someone else needs. If any equipment needs to be powered do not forget to take cords or extra batteries. Third is papers. Have important papers in one place. For example, put passports, deeds and insurance information in a folder where you are able to grab with ease. The fourth P is personal needs. Have a “Go” bag with clothes, food, water and phone chargers. The last P is for priceless items. Make a list of things that can not be replaced like pictures or jewelry. Place them in a location where you can grab them fast.
Besides the Five Ps of Evacuation, you should prepare a basic emergency supply kit. This way you are prepared if there is a natural disaster and you are told to evacuate your home immediately. The basic emergency supply kit should have:
-One gallon of water per person
-Have non-perishable foods that can last you at least three days
-Have flashlights and extra batteries
-A first aid kit
-Whistle to signal for help
-Towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
-Dust mask to prevent inhaling bad air quality
According to the Florida Forest Service, there are brush fires year round. This means that a fire can happen at any time. Speed and safety are critical when you are evacuating so make sure you have a list and if possible have a plan. Remember, you can replace stuff. You can’t replace you