UNDERSTANDING WILDLAND FIRES
BEING PREPARED FOR A DISASTER
Many big fires are caused by small mistakes!
- Stay with your BBQ while cooking outdoors
- Put cigarettes out cold, don’t throw them out the window or on the ground
- Drown and stir campfires until it is cold to the touch
- Be careful when burning weeds and debris, monitor it at all times
PREPARING YOUR HOME
- Clean debris from your roof and cutters
- Clear leaves, pine needles and tree bark away from structures
- Store firewood at least 30 feet away from structures
- Trim grass and brush creating a cleared area around propane tanks
- Thin, trim, and cut trees, shrubs and grass 30-100 feet from your home
BE PREPARED TO GO, BE PREPARED TO STAY
- The safest place for your family is some-where that is not threatened by a fire. By planning ahead you can be prepared to evacuate or stay. If you evacuate remember the most important things:
- Important papers, like birth certificates, tax records, insurance information
- Pets, pet food, pet dishes, leashes and pet carriers
- Phone, chargers and phone numbers of people you will need to call
- Have your to go bags all ready for each member of your family
- If you shelter in place: If evacuating is not the safest thing to do, you may be safer to stay in your home (or your neighbor’s home) if any of these conditions exist:
- Your only escape route goes into the fire
- Smoke is so thick you can’t see where you are going and you don’t know where the fire is
- The fire is so close or is moving so fast that you do not have time to evacuate safely
- Emergency personnel (in person or by phone) recommend that you stay
Talk to your family about potential disasters and the necessity to be prepared for them. Involve each member of your family in the planning process. Simple steps can increase their safety and reduce anxiety about emergencies. Take into account the special needs of children, seniors, or people with disabilities. Decide where your family will go in case you are evacuated or you decide to leave on your own. Before you leave, notify someone that you are leaving and what route you will be taking. Take your pets, or make arrangements for them before you go. When you arrived safely.
What is 72 Hour Preparedness?
The very basic level of preparedness is planning for 72-hours. That alone should be self-explanatory, make a kit that you can survive on, or out of, for three days. 72 hours is the time frame it may take for emergency responders, police, neighbors or family to reach you during a disaster. Keep in mind, 72 hours is for each member in your household, including your pets and other animals.
What to put in a kit:
Here are some simple steps you can take to get prepared in case of emergency or natural disaster.
First, choose a container that can withstand damages and one you can seal shut. Backpacks are a good choice for each member of the family that contains clothing and personnel items just for each member.
Rather than buying special emergency food items, store food items that are familiar to your family. Consider any dietary restrictions and preferences you may have. Ideal foods are: Shelf-stable (no refrigeration required), low in salt, and do not require cooking (e.g. canned fruit, vegetables, peanut butter, jam, low-salt crackers, cookies, cereals, nuts, dried fruit, canned soup or meats, juices and non-fat dry milk). Mark a rotation date on any food container that does not already have an expiration date on the package. Include baby food and formula or other diet items for infants or seniors. Store the food in airtight, pest-resistant containers in a cool, dark place. Most canned foods can safely be stored for at least 18 months. Low acid foods like meat products, fruits or vegetables will normally last at least 2 years. Use dry products, like boxed cereal, crackers, cookies, dried milk or dried fruit within six months.
After a power outage, refrigerated food will stay cold longer if you keep the door closed. Food should generally be consumed within 4 hours. Food in the freezer will normally remain safe for 2 days.
Talk with your family about potential disasters and why it's necessary to prepare for them. Involve each member of your family in the planning process. By showing them simple steps that can increase their safety, you can help reduce their anxiety about emergencies. Take into account the special needs of children, seniors or people with disabilities, family members that don’t speak English and pets.
Make sure everyone knows where to find your disaster supply kit and Go-bags. Plan where to meet after a disaster if your home becomes unsafe. Choose two places, one just outside your home and one outside your neighborhood in case you are told to evacuate. Be sure your gas tank is always at least half full. Determine the best escape routes from your home. Try to identify two escape routes. Make sure each member knows who your family’s out-of-state contact is and instruct them to call this person and tell him/her where they are. Locate the gas main and other utilities and make sure family members
Go-bags should be made for each member of the family. Keep them in a place that has been identified so everyone will know where they are. You may not be at home when a disaster strikes, so it is important to keep a go-bag in your car with what you would need just for immediate safety.
Ideas for a go-bag:
- Radio – battery operated
- Pocket knife
- Sturdy shoes, a change of clothes, and a warm hat
- Some water and food
- List of emergency point-of -contact phone numbers
- List of allergies to any drug (especially antibiotics) or food
- Copy of health insurance and identification cards
- Extra prescription eye glasses, hearing aid or other vital personal items
- Prescription medications and first aid supplies
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Extra keys to your house and vehicle
- Any special-needs items for children, seniors or people with disabilities. Don’t forget to make a Go-bag for your pets.
Have a plan:
Before a disaster, decide where you will go in case you are evacuated, or you decide to leave your home. Before you leave, notify someone you are leaving and what route you will take. Take your pets, or make arrangements for them before you go. Leaving them alone with food and water really isn’t a plan. When you leave your home, lock your home and shut off gas/propane unless instructed otherwise. When you arrive at your designation, notify local authorities, so they know you are gone and how they may reach you if necessary.
Be Prepared when traveling:
Pay attention to the weather forecast for your destination. Travel and weather web sites can help you avoid storms and other regional challenges that could impact your safety.
Examples of emergency preparedness and items for your car:
- Don’t let your vehicle’s gas tank get too low.
- Antifreeze levels - ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
- Windshield wiper equipment. Repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
- Carry a bag with disaster supplies such as high protein snacks, water, first aid kit, flashlight, etc. in your truck.
- Have your cell phone and phone charger in the car.
- Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
Other items to consider:
- A shovel
- Windshield scraper and small broom
- Battery powered radio
- Extra batteries
- Extra hats, socks and mittens
- Pocket knife
- Necessary medications
- Tow chain or rope
- Road salt and sand
- Booster cables
- Emergency flares
- Fluorescent distress flag
- Find out types of disasters may occur in the place where you are traveling. For example, would you know what to do in the event of a tornado?
- Keep flammable materials away from your fireplace mantel.
- Be sure not to overload the circuit if using an electric heater.
- Be sure every level of your home has a working smoke alarm, and be sure to check them monthly.
- Plan and practice a home escape plan with your family.
- Contact your local fire department for advice if you have questions on home fire safety.
Apache County Engineering and Roads Department has a Snow Removal and Cindering Policy in place. Priority Roads have been identified and are listed in their policy. Once the priority roads have been cleared, the county will begin work on other county maintained roads. If a road closure has been issued, a “Road Closed” sign will be placed on a wind master sign stand and placed in the middle of the road. These roads will be checked to assure there is nobody on the road at that time.
For winter emergencies check with the local news broadcast, listen to your local radio stations; go to www.wrh.noaa.gov for the National Weather Service; check with the Apache County Website at www.co.apache.az.us for emergency info and to monitor the Emergency Management Site which is located under “Departments” pull down menu. If a winter emergency has been issued, you can also call the 311hotline number or 928-333-3412. Online go to 311info.net or check the Emergency Management Facebook site.