The 2017 wildfire season was one of the most devastating on record, and totaled more than $18 billion in damages. While wildfire season often occurs during the summer, a wildfire could start at any time if the conditions are right. With how unpredictable and fast the wildfires are, surviving begins with being prepared to evacuate. Here are 6 evacuation tips to keep in mind when fire, or any natural disaster threatens.
1. Know where to go. Have a destination in mind, and know how to get there. Let family and friends know your plans and how to reach you. Don’t just rely on your GPS, take a map as well. Keep the car fueled and ready to go.
2. Prepare an emergency kit. A radio, flashlight, batteries, cell phone charger, first aid supplies, dust mask, whistle, a few tools, paper and pencil are all important.
3. Keep a duffle or backpack ready by the door. Pack as if you were camping for a week. Include a few changes of clothing and also several days of medication. Kids will need all of their gear, from diapers and formula to games.
4. Store water and food. It’s not necessary to prepare for the end of the world, but if you lose power you may need several days of food and water. Plan on one gallon of water per person per day.
5. Remember the pets. They will need food and water, too, plus a crate if you end up in a hotel or shelter.
6. Copy important documents. Bring along your insurance papers, plus other important financial or personal information you may need. Store in plastic bags to keep out water and smoke.
These steps will help your family deal with any disaster, whether it’s a fire in the West, a hurricane in the Southeast, or a flood in the plains. More details on kit preparation can be found from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). http://www.ready.gov/