How to Prepare For a Wildfire
Although there is no “wildfire season” with temperatures maintaining in the high 90s and little rain in sight. It is important to know the potential threat of wildfires and how to safely prepare your household. “More than 73,000 wildfires burn an average of about 7 million acres of private, state and federal land in the U.S. each year.”
Before the Fire
It won’t hurt you to know a little bit about wildfires. Especially those located in the New Mexico area. Did you know 70% of the state’s population is currently living in areas that are at risk for wildfires? This isn’t to scare you but more importantly let you know how to prepare you and your family in case of the event.
- Warnings and Alerts: Everyone has a cell phone nowadays. So, take advantage of the alerts that are available to notify you of air quality and national weather service alerts.
- Establish an emergency plan for your household as well as the workplace: Ensure each individual can implement the plan when the time comes. Make sure to know the evacuation zone that is best for your location and run through it with those in your household.
- Review Documents: While you may not think of it as a top priority make sure your insurance and personal information is up to date and kept in a safe space. On rare occasions, something does occur, and information is needed.
- When living in a fire-prone area it is best to build homes with fire-resistant materials.
- Be aware of the closest outdoor water source that can reach multiple places of the house.
- If possible, have fire-resistant areas around your home. Essentially making sure flammable objects like trees, debris, etc. are a safe distance from the home.
- Do I have Everything?: Prepare items like medical supplies, pet supplies, and any other necessities. So, you can quickly and safely leave the area if prompted to.
The Fire Is Here What Do I Do?
- If asked to evacuate, do so immediately and follow the evacuation plan you and your household prepared.
Putting Out the Fire
A wildfire is much different than a typical house fire. It is taking over hundreds of acres of land and has the potential to take out whole neighborhoods. Depending on wind direction as well you never really know what turns the fire will take. There are two main ways to try to contain the fire.
- Indirect Attack: This approach is mostly used on high-speed impactful fires. It is essentially drawing a line in the path of the fire to slow down the fire and try to contain it.
- Direct Attack: This approach is what most people relate to putting out a fire. Physically using the method of smothering or wetting the fire to extinguish the flames.
- Although it may seem like common sense. Return home only when advised by authorities.
- Once home, go through and take pictures of property damage for insurance purposes.
- Contact members of your family to ensure they get back home safely.
With temperatures continuing to rise throughout the country especially in the southwest region. It is important to stay up to date with conditions and safety protocols in your area.
If you or a loved one experiences a fire, call our insurance litigation team at (888) 420-1299. They are here to answer your questions and help guide you on your next steps.
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