The Los Angeles County Fire Department is reminding everyone to have a fire evacuation plan in place for disaster events like the Woolsey Fire.
The LACOFD has a special program called “Ready, Set, Go,” that families can use to plan ahead. It may seem basic, but a surprising number of families were unprepared when the mandatory evacuation order went out on November 9.
Here’s a look at the minimum preparations every household in the Santa Monica Mountains should make.
Ready! Set! Go!
Using these three words you can prepare your own Wildfire Action Plan and be prepared should a wildfire threaten your home.
You can help protect your property by creating defensible space around your home. That means removing brush for a minimum of 100 feet. Be sure there are no tree limbs hanging over your house and the roof and gutters are free of leaves, pine needles and other debris. Make sure ornamental shrubbery is set back from the sides of your home and that leaves under them are cleared away. One of the most common dangers in a wildfire is free-falling embers landing in these places and igniting your home.
Replace shake-shingle roofs with tile or other fire-resistant materials. Use fire-safe building materials when constructing or remodeling your home and plant fire-resistant landscaping.
Assemble emergency supplies and prepare a list of the things you want to take with you if you need to evacuate. Remember to think about things like cash, medications, phone chargers, computers and food for your pets. Plan your escape routes; you should know at least two different ways out of your neighborhood.
If a wildfire threatens your neighborhood, act immediately. Back your vehicle into the driveway with the hood (front) facing the street. Next, roll up the windows, and load your vehicle with everything you want to take with you. Make certain your valuables are either in your vehicle, or are safety stored in a (fireproof) safe.
Remove flammable materials from around your house. This includes patio furniture, firewood, decorations and anything else that could catch fire. Then monitor the news, your fire department’s website, and MySafe:LA for information regarding the fire.
In the past, the LAFD and other city agencies suggested residents await evacuation instructions prior to leaving their homes. The latest information suggests that you should not wait to be told to leave. Go early! If you’ve followed the suggestions noted here in the MySafe:LA website, as well as those related publications on the subject, you’ve already done what you can to protect your home and property. Firefighters need room in which to work. By leaving, you give them the best chance to protect your property.