Wildfires can ruin homes and cause injuries or death to people and animals. A wildfire is an unplanned fire that burns in a natural area such as a forest, grassland, or prairie. Wildfires can:
- Often be caused by humans or lightning.
- Cause flooding or disrupt transportation, gas, power, and communications.
- Happen anywhere, anytime. Risk increases with in periods of little rain and high winds.
- Cost the Federal Government billions of dollars each year.
IF YOU ARE UNDER A WILDFIRE WARNING, GET TO SAFETY RIGHT AWAY
- Leave if told to do so.
- If trapped, call 9-1-1.
- Listen for emergency information and alerts.
- Use N95 masks to keep particles out of the air you breathe.
HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A WILDFIRE THREATENS
WHAT TO DO NOW: Prepare
- Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
- Know your community’s evacuation plans and find several ways to leave the area. Drive the evacuation routes and find shelter locations. Have a plan for pets and livestock.
- Gather emergency supplies, including N95 respirator masks that filter out particles in the air you breathe. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including and updated asthma action plan and medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets.
- Designate a room that can be closed off from outside air. Close all doors and windows. Set up a portable air cleaner to keep indoor pollution levels low when smoky conditions exist.
- Keep important documents in a fireproof, safe place. Create password-protected digital copies.
- Use fire-resistant materials to build, renovate, or make repairs.
- Find an outdoor water source with a hose that can reach any area of your property.
- Create a fire-resistant zone that is free of leaves, debris, or flammable materials for at least 30 feet from your home.
- Review insurance coverage to make sure it is enough to replace your property.
- Pay attention to air quality alerts.
- Wildfire Safety Social Media Toolkit (link)
- Wildfire Information Sheet (PDF)
- Cloud of Smoke (video)
- Fires and Your Health (link)
- Fires Current Conditions (link)
- When the fire starts (video)
- United States Fire Administration (link)
- Smokey Bear (link)
- United States Forest Service (link)
- American Red Cross (link)
- Wildfire Banners and Web Badges (link)
- NFPA’s Firewise USA (link)
- Fire Adapted Community (link)
- How to Prepare for a Wildfire (PDF)
- Wildfire Playbook (PDF)
- Flood After Fire: The Increased Risk
- Answers to Questions about Flood Insurance
- Understanding Mudflow and the NFIP
Source: FEMA Ready, “Wildfires” http://www.ready.gov. Accessed March 2020 http://www.ready.gov/wildfires
© Copyright 2020. All rights reserved. This content is strictly for informational purposes and although experts have prepared it, the reader should not substitute this information for professional insurance advice. If you have any questions, please consult your insurance professional before acting on any information presented. Read more.