Get Ready To Pack—Get Set To Leave—Go!
Knowing when to leave when there is a wildland fire in your vicinity will greatly reduce the chances of injury or death, and allow firefighting crews to do their jobs more effectively.
Get Ready To Pack
Long before fire season begins, take time to make a list of items that you will want to take with you during an evacuation, including personal items like photographs, jewelry, prescriptions and eyeglasses. Keep this list in an easy-to-retrieve location so that when a fire appears to be coming your way, you will know what to pack.
- Store important documents such as birth certificates, insurance papers and a household inventory list in a safe deposit box. Keep copies of those documents in a fire resistant container or safe.
- Be ready to move pets and other animals; have leashes, pet carriers, food and water ready. Consider your pet's individual needs including cat litter, medication and grooming needs. If you own a trailer for your livestock, keep it in good working condition. If you do not have a trailer, make arrangements with friends who do to help you in case of fire.
- If you are not at home when fire threatens, stay away from the area. You might not even be able to enter the emergency area. Authorities close roads for everyone's safety and to insure access for emergency vehicles. Make arrangements in advance for family members and pets that will be at home when you are not.
Get Set To Leave
- For information about a fire, DO NOT CALL 9-1-1. Instead, tune into a local radio station or televisions broadcast and leave 9-1-1 free for life-threatening emergencies.
- Make sure you are properly clothed. Sturdy shoes, a long-sleeved shirt, long pants (cotton or wool) and gloves will help protect you from heat and burning cinders. A handkerchief or dust mask and goggles will make it easier to breathe and protect your eyes.
- Locate car keys and have your vehicle facing out so you can drive forward out of the driveway.
- Pack up and load the items on your list, including the Emergency Supplies Kit.
- Close all doors and windows inside your home. Remove fabric curtains from your windows so they will not be ignited by radiant heat. If you have mini-blinds, close them and leave them in place.
- Outside, move patio furniture and other obstacles into the garage or away from the house where they will not obstruct firefighter efforts.
- Don't wait to be told to evacuate. If the fire appears to be threatening your home, don't wait; lock up the house and leave. If fire or law enforcement officials advise you to evacuate, lock up immediately and leave.
- Drive with your headlights on so others will see you through the smoke.
- Keep windows rolled up to prevent embers from igniting your cars interior.
- Choose the safest route, constantly watching for changes in speed and direction of the fire and smoke.
- Be aware of approaching fire trucks and other emergency vehicles and move over to allow them to pass.
Emergency Supplies – three day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and food that won't spoil; one change of clothing, including shoes, per person; one blanket or sleeping bag per person; first aid kit that includes all needed prescription medications; emergency tools, battery operated radio, flashlight and extra batteries; extra set of car keys; sanitation supplies; special items for an infant, elderly or disable family member and pets.
For more information on Fire Prevention, contact the Fire Disaster & Education Specialist at 760-839-5411.
Information provided by Escondido Fire Department and FireSafe San Diego County.