Air quality and evacuations are top of mind for anyone affected by the rampant California wildfires. Even though they’re an expected part of the state’s natural landscape, this “Above-average wildfire season is predicted to continue through September, or maybe longer,” according to the National Interagency Fire Center. More than 2,000 structures and 1.07 million acres have been consumed by wildfires in California so far.
What can you do to prepare for natural disasters such as a wildfires? A great place to start is Are You Ready?, a comprehensive guide to citizen preparedness as offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). With the tagline, “Not if, but when: Every U.S. state and territory is at risk of disasters,” the FEMA guide goes on to say, “Disasters disrupt thousands of lives every year, leaving behind lasting effects on people and property. After a disaster, many others in your community need help as well. For this reason, local first responders and other assistance may not be able to reach you right away. You and your family can take simple steps now to prepare for emergencies. By doing so, you take back control—even in the uncertainty of disaster.”
To mitigate damage to your home and to keep your family safe, FEMA suggests preparing for any natural disaster by following these basics:
- knowing your risks – any specific hazards and dangers your home and community might face due to its geographical location and vulnerability, as well as personal risks that could result in injury or loss of life
- making a plan – including communications, evacuating, and sheltering, along with gathering emergency supplies. If you’ve securely stored all your vital homeowner documents and insurance papers online with our free DomiDocs home management platform, you’ll have instant access 24/7/365 from wherever you may be, meaning you can concentrate on immediate family needs
- taking action – ensuring you have the insurance coverage in place that your home needs before a disaster hits, as well as practicing your disaster plan, knowing about the warning and alert systems offered, and having a home inventory list, which can again be safely uploaded to DomiDocs for easy access. At the click of a button, you can forward your stored household documents to an insurance adjuster, banks, or wherever you may need to send them
Specific to wildfires, the Are You Ready? FEMA guide also suggests:
- setting up defense zones, and keeping vegetation, including tree canopies, and fuel sources at least 30 feet away from your property and structures
- using fire-resistant building materials when constructing
- having an outdoor water source available that can reach all areas of your property
- paying attention to alerts and weather conditions
- having enough N95 respirators on hand for everyone in your family
- avoiding charred, smoldering, and ashen debris that can cause serious burns or even may ignite another fire
And it’s important to also ask for help if you need it, just as California’s Governor Gavin Newsom did by obtaining a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for his state which will provide much-needed federal aid in response to the ongoing wildfires. Contact information for emergency resources like the American Red Cross and FEMA should be included in your family’s natural disaster plan.
DomiDocs is wholeheartedly committed to protecting you and your family from both seen and unforeseen events that can happen in life. We simplify home management by providing free and functional tools designed to keep you organized, on track, and by saving both money and time, while HomeLock™ provides an additional level of protection for your home from title fraud, unpaid bills, clerical errors, missed payments, and more! It’s easy to digitally lock your home and get 360-degree coverage against virtually all fraud scenarios. Learn more about HomeLock™ and be sure to sign up today!
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Author – Connie Motz