So what's the plan?
These practical tips can save your life, your loved ones, and your property if and when another disaster strikes.
Explore the information in more detail at www.readyforwildfire.org/Ready-Set-Go-Campaign, or take these tips to heart as we move forward into a warmer, drier future.
The premise is: Be Ready - be fire-adapted and ready; Be Set - have situational awareness; and Go! - act early.
Each issue, we'll dive down and explore what that really means, to help you take some action.
If you and your family do need to evacuate in an emergency or disaster, it's good to have a plan in place so everyone is on the same page - especially if you are in separate places when the emergency happens.
Where will you go?Create an evacuation plan that includes:
o A designated emergency meeting location for the family. Ready.gov recommends having a few in mind - a place in your neighborhood, outside your neighborhood, and outside your town - in order to be prepared for all types of emergencies.
o Identify several different travel routes from your home and community, for any scenario - flood, fire, earthquake, landslide. Consider that roads could be closed and bridges may be out.
o Choose an out-of-area friend or relative as a point of contact to act as a single source of communication among family members. (It is easier to call or message one person and let them contact others than to try and call everyone when phone, cell, and internet systems can be overloaded or limited during a disaster.)
o If you complete your Family Emergency Communication Plan online at ready.gov/make-a-plan, you can print it onto a wallet-sized card.
o Always keep a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight near your bed and handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night.
What will you bring?Emergency Supply Checklist:
o Three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person
o Map marked with at least two evacuation routes
o Prescriptions or special medications
o Change of clothing
o Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
o An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash or traveler's checks
o First aid kit
o Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
o Whistle to signal for help
o Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
o Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
o Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
o Manual can opener for food
o Local maps
o Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
o Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.) or thumbdrives with those records on them
o Chargers for cell phones, laptops, etc.
Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:
o Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
o Glasses and contact lens solution
o Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
o Pet food and extra water for your pet
o Cash or traveler's checks
o Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
o Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
o Fire extinguisher
o Matches in a waterproof container
o Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
o Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
o Paper and pencil
o Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
For more information on emergency supplies, visit www.ready.gov/.
What about Fido?It's also important to have an evacuation plan for pets and large animals such as horses and other livestock. Glen Ellen-based HALTER project (www.halterproject.org) has resources to help with this.
Among its tips, HALTER recommends:
o Knowing the best potential shelter locations for horses and livestock, and for cats, dogs, birds, exotics, and other companion animals. Shelter restrictions vary. It's best to call ahead.
o Having a document binder ready, including: proof of ownership, vet records and contacts, photos, brand registration, microchip info, insurance contacts and proof of insurance, out of area emergency contacts.
o If you have to leave some animals behind, leave duplicate documentation and info about all animals left for first responders and evac team.
o Just like your own emergency kit, the ones you create for your animals should include three to five days of food, water and medications.
Other items to include:
o First aid kit. Talk to your veterinarian about what should be included. Most commercial kits have cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors, antibiotic ointment, flea and tick prevention, latex gloves, rubbing alcohol and saline solution. A pet first aid book also is helpful.
o Identification, harness or leash. Your dog or cat should wear a collar with an ID or contact card and rabies tags at all times. Keep a backup set in your pet's emergency kit. Consider micro chipping and enrolling your pet in a recovery database. Livestock should wear a contact card for easy identification.
o A picture of you and your pet together. A picture will help identify your pet and document ownership should you become separated.
o Crate or carrier. Have a sturdy, safe, comfortable crate or carrier to transport your pet.
o Familiar items. Include your pet's favorite toys, treats or bedding.
o Sanitation. Have supplies to provide for your pet's sanitation needs such as litter and litter box, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach for disinfecting (dilute nine parts water to one part bleach).