Summer is wrapping up this month, with the fall season quickly approaching. While many people would associate the scorching hot weather during summertime with potential wildfire threats, that isn’t necessarily the case. It is hard to deny that climate change has dramatically changed the landscape across California, with wildfires seeming to be an ever-present threat.
Still, the most dangerous months are yet to come -- when the seasons shift into “autumn” in California, it really just means all those months of hot, dry weather have created the perfect tinder box out of open acres and forested areas. Based on incidents documented by the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection, over half of the top 20 most intense and destructive wildfires in state history occurred in either the month of September or October.
Tips for Ensuring Your Household Is Ready for a Fire
While most NorCal residents know that the next wildfire could break out any day in Sonoma, Napa, or a surrounding county, not all are as prepared as they could be.
That is why Firebrand Safety Systems Inc. was founded. We are committed to planning ahead to help protect and defend Northern Californians from wildfire threats. We’ve got some quick tips below to help you get started on preparing your home.
1. Stay Up to Date on Warnings & Alerts
While there are multiple news outlets and online sources that provide quick wildfire warnings and alerts, sometimes those sources can be slower to provide immediate or imperative information for residents in direct wildfire danger. That’s why CAL FIRE has created the Ready for Wildfire app, with numerous built-in tools to help residents prepare even before wildfire threats arise. By signing up for text messages through the app, you can ensure you stay informed with direct updates regarding wildfires in your specific area.
2. Create a Personalized Evacuation Plan
Many homeowners and residents in the area know that wildfires are a serious threat and have lived through many warnings. However, until you go through an emergency wildfire evacuation, you may not realize how important having a personal evacuation plan for your household can be. A solid plan should include helpful tasks to prepare ahead of wildfire warnings to ensure a household is ready, should a wildfire break out nearby. A plan should also include details regarding multiple escape routes, safe meeting areas should members be split up, an emergency supply stash, and designated points of contact, among other details.
3. Stock Your Home with a GO KIT
A large part of preparation includes having life-saving emergency supplies accessible should you and / or your family face an urgent wildfire evacuation. The Firebrand GO KITs come equipped with everything from fire suppression blankets and burn shields to first aid kits and rescue whistles, as well as many other essential items. We created these kits because we know that in wildfire situations, every minute counts. We want NorCal residents to be able to access the safety equipment and emergency supplies needed in such situations in one single location -- such as a closet or other area in the home where our compact GO KITs can be stored.
4. Have a Backup Generator or Power Source Secured
Sometimes the only repercussion of wildfire season some households face is loss of power--especially due to PSPS. Whether you are hunkered down due to a regional fire that has wiped out power or have lost power due to local safety precautions, having a backup power source is crucial. We always recommend having a generator ready at home vs. waiting for emergency situations to arise before trying to pick one up from the store--that’s when supplies are often the lowest, of course. While backup generators are the most affordable and compact option, some homeowners may consider installing solar panels and a solar battery to ensure they can always have access to power should the local grid be shut down. Either option is a great way to shield your household from PSPS or loss of power due to wildfire damage.
5. Keep Water & Other Essentials Stocked
Even if you don’t have to evacuate due to a wildfire, nearby damage, smoke, or other circumstances could make it difficult for you to leave your house. If you’ve evacuated to a safe area, getting the supplies you need once you get there can also be difficult. That is why we recommend always having a designated stash of water and other essentials (such as packaged meals, a change of clothes, etc.) that is suitable for your household size. You should be able to easily access these essentials should evacuation be necessary, so keep that in mind when storing items in your home.
Firebrand Safety Systems cares about our local community, assisting with everything from evacuation plans and home hardening to solar panel and backup power installation. If you would like to learn how our team can help prepare your home for the next Sonoma County wildfire, don’t hesitate to contact us.