Prepare Every Needful Thing

"If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear"

Emergency and Disaster Response–June 2014

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As we head into a hot, dry summer, take steps this month to protect your home, family and property from wildfire.

Create a defensible space around your home:

Two zones make up the required 100 feet of defensible space.

Zone 1 extends 30 feet out from buildings, structures, decks, etc.

  • Remove all dead plants, grass and weeds (vegetation).
  • Remove dead or dry leaves and pine needles from your yard, roof and rain gutters.
  • Trim trees regularly to keep branches a minimum of 10 feet from other trees.
  • Remove branches that hang over your roof and keep dead branches 10 feet away from your chimney.
  • Relocate wood piles into Zone 2.
  • Remove or prune flammable plants and shrubs near windows.
  • Remove vegetation and items that could catch fire from around and under decks.
  • Create a separation between trees, shrubs and items that could catch fire, such as patio furniture, swing sets, etc.

Zone 2 extends the prepared space out an additional 70 feet.

  • Cut or mow annual grass down to a maximum height of 4 inches.
  • Create horizontal spacing between shrubs and trees. (minimum 10 feet)
  • Create vertical spacing between grass, shrubs and trees. (minimum 6 feet to lowest branches)
  • Remove fallen leaves, needles, twigs, bark, cones, and small branches. However, they may be permitted as a mulch to a depth of 3 inches.

Prepare your home exterior:

  • Cover openings (such as attic vents and chimneys) with metal screens to prevent embers from entering
  • Clear gutters of debris
  • Make sure your driveway is clear of any obstacles which would prevent access by emergency vehicles and that your house number can be clearly seen from the road.
  • When repairing or remodeling your home’s exterior, use fire-resistant materials

If you need to evacuate:

  • Remove flammable curtains, blinds and shutters from windows.
  • Move flammable furnishings into the center of the room, away from windows
  • Turn off gas and central air
  • Turn on outside lights so house can be seen from road
  • Gather and store flammable items from around the yard
  • Check on neighbors
  • Turn off sprinklers so as to not diminish water pressure
  • Take your 72-hour kits with you
  • Refer to the August, September and October 2013 newsletters for more instructions on preparing for evacuation


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