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Top 10 Tips to Prepare for Wildfire Season

Local resident lost home to Witch Creek wildfire

In addition to the usual precautions (like making sure all smoke alarms are working, replacing the batteries when you set your clocks forward/back, etc.), we recommend you evaluate your firestorm preparedness and be ready by the 4th of July every year.

The following are our top ten tips offered by firestorm survivors:

  1. Establish a family emergency plan of evacuation to ensure all household members know what to do if they cannot find one another.
  2. If taking separate vehicles in an evacuation, make sure you take the same route and follow each other whenever possible.
  3. If a wildfire is nearing your neighborhood, back your vehicle(s) into the garage. If evacuation is necessary, don’t open the garage door until your entire family is in the vehicle(s) and ready to drive away.
  4. Create an emergency supply kit and place it in your car(s) if fires are approaching your area.
  5. Have the items that cannot be replaced (photos, heirlooms, etc.) already packed in easily movable storage containers for fast getaways.
  6. Take photos or videos of possessions for insurance purposes. Whole house 3D scans are now available to memorialize your property and contents at a certain moment in time.
  7. Research your insurance company. Make sure you’re confident they’ll treat you fairly if/ when you need to file a claim. (Hint: Cheap policy premiums are often an indication of how companies pay for claims.)
  8. Make certain your insurance coverage includes, ‘Guaranteed Replacement Cost’ (GRC) coverage.
  9. Trim palm fronds by mid-summer, before the fire season (high winds) begins. Clear leaves and other debris near your property; this prevents embers from igniting your home.
  10. Keep your landscaping hydrated and away from the house; dry grass, dead trees and shrubs are fuel for wildfires.