How to Prepare for a Wildfire

If you are anticipating an evacuation, take these steps to give your house the best chance to remain standing.

Outside the House

  • Check for, and remove, fire hazards in and around your home, such as dried out branches, leaves and debris.
  • Gather up flammable items from the exterior of the house and bring them inside or if possible, throw them in your pool.
  • Turn off propane tanks, as these are a great fuel source for fire.
  • Move propane BBQ appliances far away from structures
  • Connect garden hoses to outside water valves or spigots for use by firefighters. Fill all available buckets with water and place them around the house.
  • Make sure that there is no water running, as this can affect critical water pressure.
  • Reverse your car into the driveway, load your vehicle, and ensure all doors and windows are closed. Carry your car keys with you at all times.
  • Place a ladder at the corner of the house for firefighters to quickly access your roof.
  • Seal all 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 with neighbors and make sure they are preparing to leave.
  • Move all combustibles away from the house, including firewood and lawn furniture.
  • Stay tuned to your local radio station for up-to-date information on the fire and possible road closures.
  • Evacuate your family and pets to a safe location.

In the House

  • Make your Emergency Kit accessible and near your designated exit
  • Maintain first-aid supplies to treat the injured until help arrives.
  • Go over the Fire Action Plan ahead of time
  • Make sure all family members are familiar with the technique of "STOP, DROP, AND ROLL" in case of clothes catching on fire.
  • Know your community’s emergency response plan and have a plan on where to go, and best routes for leaving your location when necessary to evacuate
  • Shut windows and doors, but ensure they are unlocked.
  • Remove flammable materials such as window shades, curtains, and close metal shutters.
  • Move any potentially flammable furniture to the center of the room, away from all possible fire entries.
  • Turn off gas at the meter
  • Ensure you’ve turned off all pilot lights.
  • Turn on all house lights on so firefighters can see your house on the property under smoky conditions.
  • Shut off the air conditioning to avoid drafts of air to feed the fire or perpetuate smoke.
  • Make sure every floor and all sleeping areas have smoke detectors.
  • Consult with your local fire department about making your home fire-resistant.
  • Stay tuned to your local radio station for up-to-date information on the fire and possible road closures.

If you are on a farm/ranch, sheltering livestock in a wildfire could trap animals inside, causing them to burn alive. Leaving animals unsheltered gives them a better chance of survival, or if time and personal safety allows, please remove them from the danger zone.


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