Five things every homeowner should do to prepare for a wildfire
Wildfires are a serious threat to our homes and communities and it is important that we're prepared in the event of an emergency. With growing seasons of dry weather and excessive heat waves, each "fire season" has increased its destruction year over year. If the trend we've seen over the past five years continues we will have additional destructive fire seasons into the foreseeable future so being prepared is essential so you can get out safe and quickly.
Here are five things you should arm yourself with in order to be better prepared for wildfire:
1. An emergency kit
2. A portable fire suppression device
3. Hose and water source
4. Food and water
5. An evacuation plan
In the article we are going to dive into all the necessary preparations to do before this upcoming fire season to feel ready to go on a moment's notice if you were threatened by a wildfire in your region.
When a wildfire threatens, it's important to have an emergency kit ready to go. Your emergency kit should include items like water, food, flashlights, batteries, first-aid supplies, prescription drugs and clothing. It's also a good idea to keep copies of your important documents like your driver's license, passport, and insurance policies in your emergency kit.
The goal of an emergency kit is to have the top priority items in the event you do not have time to search through your house if a wildfire is approaching and you need to evacuate.
If you live in an area that is wildfire-prone, it's a good idea to have these bonuses. A few extra items outside of your emergency kit. Some extra items you may want to consider include:
Sand or soil for putting out smaller fires quickly (if you can't find water).
An extra portable cell phone charger in the event power becomes down due to a fire destroying electrical poles.
Written list of important contacts in the event your cell phone dies or becomes destroyed.
A Portable Fire Suppression Device
A portable fire suppression device is an important item to have in your wildfire emergency kit. A portable fire suppression device can be used to put out small fires before they become bigger. It's important to know how to use a portable fire suppression device before a wildfire threatens your home.
If you are looking for a reliable and purpose built Compressed Air Foam system, check out the QTAC™ H2. The QTAC H2 is a great option and is designed for rapid deployment during a live fire incident using Compressed Air Foam – Class A, or AFFF. With over 60 seconds of discharge duration, small storage size and the ability to be filled using a standard air compressor, the QTAC H2 CAF is ideal for use in field service work, where initial attack is paramount to keeping fires in check.
Another great option to have the ability to quickly attack a fire is the QTAC™ 20S. The QTAC™ 20S is the smallest offering in the QTAC line-up, and has been recently redesigned. A new hose rack features a storage pocket for small items such as tools and gloves, as well as detachable hose guide arms that will make them simple to replace should they ever be damaged. To help with tool storage, the 20S can now be optioned with two Quick Fist tool holders.
This compact QTAC was designed primarily for prescribed burning and mop-up, and gives you the capability to spray a 45-foot stream of water in even the most remote areas, as well as draft out of an auxiliary water source.
Bonus Preparation: QTAC UTV Firefighting Skid
A QTAC UTV Firefighting Skid is a great addition to any wildfire preparation plan. This skid allows you to quickly and easily attach a fire hose to the back of your UTV and start putting out flames. QTAC UTV Firefighting Skids are also equipped with a water tank, so you can stay on the scene for longer periods of time.
The QTAC UTV Firefighting Skid is a great tool to have in case of a wildfire emergency. Having this skid will help you extinguish flames quickly and easily, without having to worry about being too close to the fire.
Hose and water source
A hose and water source is an essential wildfire preparation that you can have. If your house catches on fire due to wildfire and it becomes destroyed putting out the wildfire should be your number one priority when evacuating.
You will want to locate a water source and connect it to your garden hose in order to attack any flames coming from your home in case wildfire threatens your property and possessions. Keeping a spare key somewhere outside of your house could help in the event you need access to turn on all sprinklers quickly if wildfire has already come close enough to threaten your home. If a fire is burning in the area, sprinkler systems are a great way to keep plants, mulch, and brush consistently moist while trying to protect your home during an active wildfire in the area.
Food and Water
When a wildfire threatens, it's important to have food and water ready to go. You should have enough food and water to last you and your family for at least three days at minimum. It's a good idea to have a variety of foods that don't require cooking. Canned foods, boxed meals, and energy bars are all good options. Items that have long shelf life will be helpful so you do not need to rotate your emergency food frequently.
It's also important to have plenty of water on hand. You will need at least one gallon of water per person per day. If you live in an area that is wildfire-prone, it's a good idea to have extra water stored in case the power goes out due to a wildfire in your region but not requiring you to evacuate.
Having food and water ready to go will help you stay calm and focused in the event of a wildfire. Knowing that you have everything you need to survive will give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on what's important-getting yourself and your family to safety.
An Evacuation Plan
When creating an evacuation plan, it's important to include as much information as possible. A wildfire evacuation plan should include the following:
Your name and contact information
The address of your residence
The name and contact information of an emergency contact person who is not in the affected area
A map of the area showing your home, the emergency contact person's home, and evacuation routes
Instructions on what to do if you are unable to evacuate on your own
Instructions on what to do with your pets
Instructions on how to turn off all utilities (gas, water, and electricity) at your home
Understanding all roads, fire roads, cross roads and other trail systems that allow you to escape safely.
Creating a wildfire evacuation plan will help you feel prepared in the event of an emergency. In the event wildfire threatens your home, you will have a plan to follow. This will help you stay calm and navigate through wildfire safely without panicking or being overwhelmed.
We hope this blog helped you understand the wildfire threat to your home and how you can be prepared. It's important that we're all aware, with a plan in place, of what may happen if wildfire does threaten our homes or communities. If wildfire is something that concerns you, then please feel free to reach out for help from us. Our team at QTAC are experts in handling these sorts of situations and would love to partner with you on any wildfire preparation needs.