Written by guest columnist Roger Maybee of Firewise Madera County
Are you ready to evacuate? You? Your family? Your neighbors? Can your home withstand a wildfire? Embers falling on your roof? Embers flying into your attic from miles away? Yes, from MILES away!
If your answer is “No” or “I don’t know,” then your home is NOT Firewise.
What Is Firewise?
Being Firewise means you, your family, and your home, are prepared for wildfire.
You will be fire “wise” if you have created an emergency preparedness plan for you, your family and community, and practiced the plan so you all are ready.
You will be fire “wise” if your home, and surrounding area, has been prepared to withstand wildfire as much as possible.
When you are Firewise, catastrophic wildfires may not be catastrophic.
Why Be Firewise?
A Firewise home means you will enjoy:
- Readiness to safely evacuate you and your family at a moments notice.
- Potentially saving your precious family memories and heirlooms.
- Better peace of mind: Knowing you have done all you can to prevent wildfire from claiming your home.
- Knowing you have provided safer conditions for emergency personnel to help reduce their risk or even provide them with a safe shelter.
- The confidence that your home has a good chance to survive in the event of a wildfire.
- Higher probability that emergency personnel will defend your home and community if the resources are available.
- Higher probability your home will survive if there are no resources to protect your home.
- Potentially lower home insurance rates.
- Potentially better home financing options.
- Potentially being able to get insurance when you may otherwise not have.
Firewise Starts at Home
Firewise starts with your emergency preparedness plan and then moves to your home. To a fire, your home is fuel.
Firewise mitigation addresses your home and surrounding area, known as the “home ignition zone” or HIZ. Prepare that zone to deny wildfire the conditions of
combustion and you will be ready.
- Remove debris from roof
- Close openings that may allow embers to enter your attic
- Check gutters for debris & remove
- Replace vinyl window screens with metal screens
- Replace vinyl windows with wood or metal windows
- Remove combustible materials from direct contact with your home
- Move patio furniture & cushions away from your home
- Remove flammables from under decks
For more actions to make your home Firewise see:http://FirewiseMaderaCounty.org/
Even being Firewise there are no guarantees your home will survive a major fire. But being Firewise at least you will know you have made every effort to protect
you, your family, your home, your community, and emergency personnel should a wildfire strike.
You will be ready to evacuate you and your family safely and easily. Because there are not enough fire engines to protect every structure, you have a responsibility to your family, and your neighbors to take action to protect your own home & family, before a wildfire comes to your neighborhood.
What’s Next? Let us help you get Firewise!
To get started getting Firewise please visit http://FirewiseMaderaCounty.org/ for complete information on how to get Firewise now.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!