More than 35,000 people fled their homes last month to escape the Carr Fire as the wind-driven blaze swept across a 172-square-mile area along Redding’s western edge. State officials ordered another 19,000 people to leave their homes July 30 as the River Fire and the Ranch Fire started making their way toward Clear Lake¹.
Fires like these are becoming more common as extreme weather conditions have transformed the state’s grasslands and forests into a tinderbox of dense and dry vegetation². Therefore, it’s important to make sure your family knows what to do should the area surrounding your home catch on fire and you must evacuate at a moment’s notice. Here’s a quick guide courtesy of Cal Fire³:
- Pick a safe location outside your home’s immediate area where your family can meet and practice driving there via several different routes in case the easiest, most direct path to this meetup location is blocked by the fire or emergency vehicle traffic.
- Make sure everyone in the house knows how to turn off its utilities and how to get your pets or large animals – horses, cows, etc. – to safety in case your family gets separated by the fire or emergency vehicle traffic.
- Record this information on a “Family Communication Plan” along with the phone number of an emergency contact who lives outside your area but could still guide people to your meetup point or another safe location.
- Assemble an emergency supply kit containing non-perishable food items, pet food, water, copies of your important documents, extra clothing, your medications, a flash light, a first aid kit, sanitation supplies, and a battery-powered radio that you keep in your vehicle, and
- Make sure your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies are up to date and that you’ve conducted a recent home inventory so that you’ll be ready to file a claim when you return home and have a chance to survey the damage.
Want to learn more ways you can protect your home from a wildfire or house fire and whether your insurance policy could help you recover your losses? Call Mennonite Insurance today at 559-638-2327 or e-mail [email protected].