Living With Fire Tip #8: Be Prepared to Evacuate!
With wildfires already occurring near homes in the state, firefighting experts are encouraging homeowners to be prepared to evacuate in the event that a wildfire threatens their neighborhood. "People really need to prepare before a wildfire ever occurs," explains Ed Smith, natural resource specialist, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. "There probably won’t be time to gather everything they need and do everything they need to do if they wait until an evacuation is actually ordered," he says.
Smith says that the checklist is available online at www.livinwithfire.info in both English- and Spanish-language versions. It tells homeowners:
- what to wear, such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and what to bring for safety, such as gloves, goggles, and a flashlight.
- what to do to their home before they leave to best protect it and to aid firefighters, such as turning off all pilot lights, closing all interior doors, and closing all exterior vents.
- what items to have gathered to bring with them, such as insurance papers and birth certificates, medications, and credit cards.
- And many other useful tips.
Ann Grant, a chapter leader with the Nevada Fire Safe Council, practiced evacuating her home. "I was very well prepared, yet couldn’t get out of my house in under eight minutes," she says. "It made me very fearful for those people who are not prepared at all." Smith says that homeowners should take time now, to review the checklist, place items they would need to take with them in one place, make additional notes and lists, and even plan a mock evacuation.
Homeowners can also view the evacuation information on streaming video by clicking on "During the Fire" at www.livingwithfire.info. To learn more about evacuation procedures and protecting your home from the threat of wildfire, visit www.livingwithfire.info or contact your local Cooperative Extension office or Ed Smith at 775-782-9960. Living With Fire is an interagency program coordinated by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.