Living in California has many benefits, including its pleasant climes, but there’s been a recent increase in the number of wildfires threatening the lives of its residents. 2017 marked a particularly devastating wildfire season, as flames engulfed acres of land across Northern and Southern California.
Since the nature of wildfires is unpredictable and difficult to contain once ignited, homeowners in California are encouraged to plan ahead on how to protect their homes should wildfires unexpectedly blaze through their backyard. Don’t let Mother Nature surprise you at your doorstep without doing everything you can to protect your home. Here are four ways to prepare for a wildfire.
1. Make an Evacuation Plan
The best time to make a plan is now, before a wildfire strikes. Sign up for emergency alerts in your area and establish a plan of communication to identify who you would call in your community for information. Work with your family to create an emergency plan on how to escape your neighborhood and map out the ways you could escape each room of your home. Have two safe areas designated to meet up with your family. Keep in mind any pets that you will need to bring with you.
2. Defend Your Home
Remove any debris in your yard, such as wood, dried leaves, newspapers, brush, or anything that could fuel the fire. According to ready.gov, homeowners should remove any flammable vegetation 30 to 100 feet from your home. Have your neighbors help create up to 200 feet of space around your homes with very little vegetation and underbrush. Remove debris from your roof and gutters, and make sure your water hoses are long enough to reach any area of the home. Review your homeowner’s insurance policy and take it with you when you evacuate.
3. Create an Emergency Preparedness Kit
Fill a backpack or travel bag filled with supplies that include water, flashlights, batteries, change of clothes, shoes, medicine, first-aid kit, and more. Check out ready.gov and ReadyforWildfire.org for other basic disaster supplies.
4. Don’t Wait Till It’s Too Late
Make sure everything in place so you don’t waste any time when your alerts and the authorities tell you to leave. However, if you see a wildfire but have yet to be notified to evacuate, call 9-1-1. Only return home when authorities notify the community it is safe.
Personal Express Insurance understands how prevalent and dangerous wildfires are in California because many of our agents live in the same neighborhoods as their customers. Not only are they equipped to assist you with your homeowners insurance policy when disaster strikes, but they are also there to listen and comfort you every step of the way. Not sure if your homeowner’s insurance policy covers wildfires or are you looking for new coverage? Our agents are standing by to offer you world-class personalized service at a neighborhood store near you. Call 1-800- 499-3612 or get a fast and free customized homeowners insurance quote.