Wildfire planning tips from Summit County’s Fire Departments
Before a Wildfire Threatens
- Plan more than one escape route from your home or subdivision by car and by foot.
- Prepare a family evacuation kit that includes:
- Three changes of clothing and a change of footwear per person and one blanket or sleeping bag per person
- A three-day supply of food and water (food that won’t spoil)
- A first aid kit that includes your family’s prescription medications
- Emergency tools including a battery-powered AM/FM radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries
- Extra car keys and a credit card, cash, or traveler’s checks
- Sanitation supplies
- Special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members
- An extra pair of eyeglasses/sunglasses
Important family documents:
- Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks, bonds
- Passports, social security cards, immunization records
- Bank account numbers
- Credit card account numbers and companies
- Inventory of valuable household goods, important phone numbers
- Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
Pick two meeting places for your family:
- A place a safe distance from your home.
- A place outside of your neighborhood in case you can’t return to the area of your home.
If you are warned that a wildfire is threatening your area
- Back your car into the garage or park in an open space facing the direction of escape. Shut doors and roll up windows. Leave the key in the ignition.
- Confine pets to one room. Make plans to care for your pets in case you must evacuate.
- Arrange temporary housing at a friend or relative’s home outside the threatened area.
If you’re sure you have time, take these steps to protect your home Inside
- Close windows, vents, doors, venetian blinds or non-combustible window coverings and heavy drapes.
- Shut off gas or propane. Turn off pilot lights.
- Move flammable furniture into center of the home away from windows and sliding-glass doors.
- Turn on a light in each room to increase the visibility of your home in heavy smoke.
- Seal attic and ground vents with pre-cut plywood or commercial seals.
- Remove gas grills from decks and patios, place propane tanks in garage.
- Place combustible patio furniture inside.
- Connect garden hoses to outside taps, leave in obvious location for firefighters.
- Place a non-combustible ladder on house for access to roof for firefighters.
- Remove firewood or any other stored combustibles near your home.
- Remove all shrubs within 15 feet of your home.
If advised to evacuate, do so immediately and safely
- Wear protective clothing-sturdy shoes, cotton or woolen clothing, long pants, long sleeved shirt, gloves and a handkerchief to protect your face.
- Take your evacuation kit.
- Lock your home.
- Tie a white towel, sheet or ribbon on your front door; this advises emergency responders that your home has been evacuated.
- Tell someone when you left and where you are going.
- Choose a route away from fire hazards. Watch for changes in the speed and direction of fire and smoke.
For more information or if you have any questions, call or stop by any of our fire stations!