How to Prepare for a Wildfire Evacuation Order
Wildfire season arrived with a vengeance and the state of California is under siege. Millions of acres are burning. The fires have damaged or destroyed over 2,000 structure and seven people have lost their lives according to Cal Fire. Wildfire evacuation orders are in force in several counties. Though Los Angeles County isn't yet one of them, it is only a matter of time.
All property owners across Los Angeles should prepare now for future wildfire evacuation orders. But if you own property near wooded areas like the Angeles National Forest, Hollywood Hills or Griffith Park, be extra diligent with these steps.
Pack a “Go Bag”
Your “go bag” should include copies of important documents like insurance policies, passports and property titles or deeds. Pack non-perishable food, water and clothing to last at least three days for each family member, including pets. Don't forget a first aid kit, spare toiletries and a flashlight with extra batteries.
If there are things you can't pack in advance, make a checklist of things to grab as you leave. Your list might include electronics like phones and chargers, prescriptions and other personal care items and irreplaceable mementos.
Draw Up a Wildfire Evacuation Plan
Unless you live or work by yourself, you'll need to coordinate your wildfire evacuation plan with others. If you own a larger property, you may have multiple evacuation routes. Establish a meeting place or check in method with family members or coworkers to ensure everyone makes it out safe and sound.
You should also create a list of things to do if nearby wildfires prompt an evacuation order. These tasks include:
- Turn off the gas at the main shutoff valve
- Shut windows and remove flammable coverings (curtains, shades etc.)
- Turn on lights to help firefighters with visibility
- Gather flammable items (lawn furniture, umbrellas, welcome mats etc.) and store inside
You can find additional pre-evacuation suggestions on Cal Fire's “Ready For Wildfire” page.
Save Key Contacts or Information Sources
“Hey Siri. Call Mom.”
Many of us don't know phone numbers by heart because we store them as contacts on our phones and seldom need to dial them. Your spouse, parents, children and other family members are likely stored already. But what about your doctor, pediatrician or vet? Do you live in multiunit housing, like an apartment or condo? It may be useful to have your property manager or HOA on speed dial.
It's also important to stay informed during an emergency. Bookmark links to news sources and follow local officials like the LA County Fire Department on Twitter (@LACoFDPIO). You can sign up for wildfire text alerts through Cal Fire or emergency alerts through Notify LA.
If you own or manage property, make the fire cleanup process more efficient by creating a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile. You can store key information in the app to send to SERVPRO in the event of fire, smoke or soot damage to your property.
Wildfire Damage? Call SERVPRO!
When wildfires force you to evacuate, the most important thing is the safety of you and your family. But your home is also important. By preparing your property for wildfires in advance of evacuation orders, you lower, but not eliminate, your risk for fire damage.
You may return home to find a soot covered roof, smoke odor permeating your furniture, flame scorched walls or water damaged carpets. If so, call SERVPRO of North Hollywood. We're faster to any size wildfire disaster.
Our team of highly-trained and experienced fire cleanup specialists can be on-site within hours. We are a trusted industry leader with the advanced restoration technology and techniques to make wildfire damage “Like it never even happened.”
In the event of a wildfire emergency, stay safe. Then call SERVPRO of North Hollywood to clean up any damage the wildfires leave behind.