Emergency Preparedness – Forest Fires

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Your day starts off beautifully. You get up, drop your kids at school, and go to work. In the evening you come home to your family. Your family eats their supper and goes off to sleep. At about two in the morning, you hear a persistent loud bang on your door. As you go to check who it might be, you catch a waft of smoke but proceed to the door. Once you open the door, you find firefighters who inform you to evacuate your premises due to a wildfire heading towards your home. As you look outside, you see your neighbors busy packing with some already driving away. What do you do?

The probability of such occurring to you might seem infinitely small. However, with the sharp rise in wildfire incidents in recent memories. Consider a state like California where numerous families have found themselves caught up in such situations where the survival of your family is entirely on you.

To ensure your family survives a wildfire, you must have a plan worked out because improvising will only get you through a couple of phases. Your unpreparedness will leave you and your family at the mercy of chance.

During your survival preparedness, you will need to have the following significant things in mind:

  1. The survival kit.
  2. Well laid out plan and a reliable source of information.

The survival kit

In the case of a wildfire, a survival kit is significant because it will carry most of your survival equipment.

Your survival kit should incorporate the below items amongst others:

  1. Face masks

Smoke is more dangerous than the fire itself as smoke might suffocate you to death or disorient you, impairing your ability to make informed decisions leaving you susceptible to the fire hence the need for face masks.

  1. Food and water

Depending on how far you live from a road or the nearest town, you should have sufficient food and water, for each family member.

  1. Map

A map detailing the area you live in with multiple alternative exit routes marked out will be a piece of significant equipment as with it, you can backtrack and use an alternative path if your current path is blocked off.

  1. Flashlight

Smoke billowing from a burning forest can drastically lower visibility by blocking the sun’s rays. Therefore, have a flashlight you can use from time to time.

  1. Personal documentation

ATM cards, personal identification cards, and so on might prove quite significant later once you make it out of the wildfire. As such, carry them with you.

  1. Medication

If any of your family members is under medication, never leave the medicine behind as it will be detrimental to your loved one.

  1. Heat reflective clothing and fireproof blankets

You never know when you might find yourself passing near the fire or through a narrow section of the wildfire to reach safety. Therefore, to avoid burns, carry fireproof blankets and heat-reflective clothes.

How you will carry all this equipment, a bug-out bag is an answer.

The plan

Ensure you have a reliable line of communication with the rest of the world. A radio can get information such as the direction of the fire is an example. Keep a battery powered, crank, or solar powered radio in your bag. Regardless of how much equipment you have, if your plan is not well thought out and known by each family member, all might be in vain. Consequently, ensure you check all the information in your plan, like addresses, phone numbers, etc. are up to date. Each family member should know what to do during the disaster. This way if you are away during the incident, they have a better chance of surviving. Do not get caught unprepared and find yourself scrabbling when a natural disaster strike. Protect yourself and your loved ones and plan ahead.