National Preparedness Month 2015: Wildfire Safety

What to do BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER a wildfire


  • Build an emergency kit. Make sure you have non-perishable food items, wound treatment supplies, flashlight(s), batteries, bottles of water, and other supplies that will provide sustenance if necessary. Store in a safe place that is easy to get to.
  • Make a family communications plan.
  • Make sure your home has smoke alarms on every level and that you test them monthly and swap batteries out annually.
  • If you don't own a smoke alarm, check with your local fire department about getting a free one.
  • Keep your lawn free of loose leaves and twigs, which can quickly catch fire.
  • Never play with matches or leave lit candles unattended.



  • Do not hesitate or ignore direction from officials when they say to evaucate the premise.
  • If you see a wildfire, call 911. Do not assume someone already has, as you may be the first to spot it! If you're not, it's still better to be safe than sorry.
  • Fill outdoor tubs, pools, trash cans, and any other large containers with water.
  • Gather important papers, photographs, pets, and other critically important items in your vehicles in case you need to abandon the area immediately.
  • Turn all accessible lights on, which will help your property to be seen through heavy smoke.



  • If you have evacuated your home, do not return until officials say it's okay. Ask them to check your property to make sure all active embers are put out, in order to minimize the risk of additonal fires starting.
  • Stay away from downed or dangling power lines, as they could cause electrocution.
  • Do not use faucet water unless officials give permission.


Whether you face an actual wildfire or a fire in your home or business, the above tips can help save your life. As always, call 911 if you see flames - do not try to fight a fire on your own.


These tips are provided by

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