How to Celebrate on May 2nd
Saturday, May 2nd is NFPA’s Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. According to NFPA this day was created as a “Prep Day to raise awareness of wildfire risk, to share information and knowledge, and to help residents make changes to improve the survival of their homes and neighborhoods.”
NFPA reports the following statistics for wildfires:
- 100+ lives lost in the last two years
- 5 million homes were identified at high or extreme risk of wildfire
- 9 million acres across the US burned in 2018
- $25+ billion in property loss in the last 2 years
NFPA also reports on Major wildfire events that spanned between 2017-2019:
- October 2017 – Firestorm, Northern CA
- 44 dead
- 8,700 structures destroyed
- November 2018 – Camp Fire, Northern CA
- 85 dead
- 18,800 structures destroyed
- October 2019 – Kincade Fire, Sonoma County
- 76,000 acres destroyed
- 189 buildings destroyed
- 90,000 buildings threatened
- October 2019 – Getty Fire, Los Angeles
- 7,000+ residences in mandatory evacuation zone
Wildfire Community Preparedness Day and COVID-19
Before COVID-19 NFPA created a Prep Day Toolkit to help you plan your project. But, this year’s Wildfire Community Preparedness Day might look a little different than what was originally planned. NFPA put out a statement that says:
“The COVID-19 health crisis may prevent you from carrying out your preparedness plans and group events. NFPA and State Farm encourage you to postpone meetings and events until it’s safe. NFPA continues to monitor the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other global and local health organizations and resources for developments that may inform future decisions.”
If you would like more information you can visit NFPA’s blog post.
Ideas of Projects During Stay-At-Home Orders
Even though you are isolated in your homes and on your properties, you can still get outside and make sure that your property is prepared. NFPA has broken down this plan into 3 steps to check, clear, and communicate:
- See if your home’s address number is visible from the street. If not, trim overgrown vegetation covering or blocking the numbers on your homes in case firefighters need to find you.
- Measure how close wood piles are located to the home. If any are closer than 30 feet, move them farther way from structures.
- Check your possessions. Take video and photos of your possessions so you’ll have documentation to replace belongings.
- Rake and remove pine needles and dry leaves to a minimum of 3 to 5 feet from a home’s foundation. Dispose of collected debris in appropriate trash receptacles.
- Sweep porches and decks, clearing them of leaves and pine needles. Rake under decks, porches, sheds, and play structures.
- On mature trees, use hand pruners and loppers to remove low-hanging tree branches up to a height of 4 feet from the ground (specific height depends on the type and size of tree). Collect downed tree limbs and broken branches and take them to a disposal site.
- Remove items stored under decks and porches and relocate them to a storage area. Gasoline cans and portable propane tanks should never be stored indoors or near the home.
- Create a family communication plan and build or update a 72-hour evacuation kit for you, your family, and your pets.
- Create an evacuation plan for your family.
Spend some time this weekend and make sure that you and your family are prepared for a wildfire.
-The IFS Team