Everything You Need in a Wildfire Emergency Plan (With Checklist)
Every year, the world experiences a surge in wildfires. So, it is always a good idea to have a clear wildfire action plan. Be prepared in case unexpected situations arise by following this wildfire checklist.
But first, let's discuss why you need an evacuation plan. We'll also discuss why wildfires are so harmful for years after.
Why Wildfire Evacuation Plans Are Important
Wildfires are an increasingly frequent occurrence in many parts of the world. As such, individuals and communities need to be equipped to deal with the potential danger.
Globally, wildfires devastate millions of acres of land every year—forcing thousands of homes to be abandoned due to emergency evacuation orders. Beyond the immediate danger to life and property, there are also significant long-term impacts.
Wildfire smoke can lead to respiratory issues and other air quality illnesses, some of which can last for years after the fire. In fact, the poor air quality caused by wildfires can even shorten your lifespan. Loss of property and infrastructure also leads to economic difficulties for the affected community.
A wildfire evacuation plan can help mitigate these potential effects by reducing the time it takes for people to get out of harm's way, safeguarding essential possessions, and providing a clear roadmap for communities to follow in the event of a wildfire emergency.
Wildfire Evacuation Plan
- Have a designated emergency meeting point outside the fire area.
- Recognize several different escape routes from your home.
- Know the shelter locations and safety zone closest to your home.
- Have an evacuation plan for pets and large animals.
- Have a Go-Kit: 3 days of supplies that you can easily carry with you.
Emergency Wildfire Supplies
- Have a fire extinguisher close by and make sure family members know how to use it.
- Have a portable radio or battery-powered radio.
- Have a backup battery or a way to charge your cell phone.
- Maintain a list of emergency contact numbers (Digital and on paper).
- Have N95 or P100 respirators. Follow EPA guidelines.
How to Prepare Your Home for a Wildfire
- Locate your home's gas, electric, and water main shut-off controls.
- Designate a room you can close off from outside air (Has few windows and doors).
- Set up a portable air cleaner to use in your designated room.
- Have a 1-month supply of medication in a child-proof container.
- Stay-at-Home Kit: 2 weeks of supplies if you need to stay at home.
- Keep personal, financial, and medical records safe.
Follow the 4 Ps of Evacuation
When a wildfire evacuation occurs near your home, here are the 4 most precious things to take with you:
- People and pets.
- Papers, phone numbers, and documents.
- Prescriptions, vitamins, and eyeglasses.
- Plastic (Credit, ATM cards, cash).
To conclude, a wildfire evacuation plan is a crucial tool for communities and individuals. It ensures that they are capable of protecting themselves and their loved ones in the face of this increasingly common natural disaster.
Worried About Air Quality?
Monitor the Particulate Matter levels around the world with our free, real-time PurpleAir Map or join PurpleAir's mission to make air quality data accessible to everyone by investing in an air quality monitor for your home.
Together, we can be informed and make changes in our daily habits and the community to improve air quality.