You can tell when fall arrives, especially here at NFPA in the Wildland Fire Operations Division because suddenly there’s an uptick in renewal applications flooding in, and folks across the country, working on mitigation projects, are now completing and submitting their applications before the December 31 deadline to become a new, official Firewise Communities/USA site this year.
As I’ve mentioned during the past few weeks, the benefits to becoming a recognized Firewise community are many. Just check out our “success stories” page and read our testimonials and stories around the Firewise Challenge and Wildfire Community Preparedness Day and you’ll get the picture. It’s no wonder that every year we receive more and more applications from residents dedicated to creating a safer, more fire adapted place to live for themselves, their families and friends. And while every community may have a different reason for what brought them to the program, in the end, the intended outcome is the same: to reduce the threat that wildfire brings to their homes, property and neighborhood.
And so with that, here’s the seventh and “last” program benefit provided to us by residents involved in Firewise, from our “Top Seven Benefits to Becoming Firewise” list:
7. Access to Funding and Assistance
Preference is sometimes given to Firewise Communities/USA sites over other candidates when allocations of grant money are made for wildfire safety or fuel mitigation. The reason is that there are invariably more requests than available funds when grants are available through state or federal agencies. If requests are equally worthy, some officials tend to have more confidence in communities that have demonstrated the foresight of becoming a recognized Firewise Communities/USA site.
Check out www.firewise.org where you’ll learn more about grants and funding, wildfire mitigation action steps to take around your home and how to get your neighbors involved in the process. Also find a host of projects, ideas and tips you can share with every member of your family, local organizations and other groups of which you are a member.
With three months to go before the end of the year, you still have time to submit your application and learn more about the Firewise program. Need help? Contact us at any time. We’re here to support you!