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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Coffee Break Training: Wildfire — Are You Prepared?

Wildfire — Are You Prepared? (Part 2 of 2)
No. CR-2014-9 May 14, 2014

Learning Objective: The student will be able to identify the steps necessary to be prepared ahead of a wildfire threat and to 
practice wildfire safety.
If you are warned that a wildfire is threatening your area, listen for reports and evacuation information. Follow evacuation guidance provided by local officials. When wildfire threatens, you will not have time to shop or search for emergency supplies. Preassemble a disaster supply kit with items that you may need if advised to evacuate. Prepare ahead, and practice wildfire safety.

Prepare Yourself and Family — Plan Ahead:
Plan and practice two ways out of your neighborhood in case your primary route is blocked.
Select a place for family members to meet outside your neighborhood in case you cannot get home or need to evacuate.
Identify someone who is out of the area of contact if local phone lines are not working.
Be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.

Emergency Supplies:
Assemble a disaster supply kit with items that you will need if advised to evacuate in advance. Visit www.ready.gov or www.redcross.org for a current listing of supplies.
At a minimum, include:
Water — one gallon of water per person per day (three-day supply).
Food — nonperishable, easy-to-prepare items (three-day supply).
A first-aid kit.
Medications, prescription medications and medical items.
Emergency tools, including a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, flashlight and extra batteries.
An extra set of car keys and a credit card, cash or traveler’s checks.
Sanitation and personal hygiene items.
Special items for infants and elderly or disabled family members.
An extra pair of eyeglasses.
Cellphone/Charger.
One change of clothing and footwear per person.
One blanket or sleeping bag per person.
Family and emergency contact information.
Copies of personal documents (medication list, pertinent medical information, birth certificates, deed/lease to home, insurance policies).
Map(s) of the area.
Other essential items that could not be replaced if they were destroyed.

If Advised To Evacuate, Do So Immediately:
Wear protective clothing — sturdy shoes, cotton or woolen clothing, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves, and a handkerchief to protect your face.
Take your disaster supply kit.
Lock your home.
Tell someone the time you left and where you are going.
Choose a route away from fire hazards. Watch for changes in the speed and direction of fire and smoke.
For additional information, visit www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/.
Photo credit: SFGate

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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