Have you ever struggled to communicate about wildfire preparedness so that residents in your community not only understand their risks but actively participate in lessening their exposure to wildfire hazards? Speaking well to create participation at a community level is an art. Learn from the stories of two New Jersey Firewise Communities as they shared how their communication plans helped homeowners learn what role they had to play, and then how to effectively participate in activities that created resilient communities.
Horizon Woods Landing
The Horizon Woods Landing Firewise Day was a great success thanks to the collaborative efforts
of state and local organizations to educate the public on reducing the risk of wildfire losses. Members of the New Jersey Forest Fire Service (NJFFS), the Hamilton Township Emergency Services Organization (Fire, Police, EMS) and Mayor Roger Silva all participated. Each organization, plus the Horizon Woods Landing Firewise Committee, set up table display displays and provided souvenirs and handouts to residents and their families. Following the day, an article with photos from the event was published in the December issue of the Horizon Woods Landing Newsletter, which is distributed quarterly to every homeowner in the community. The Firewise Committee also writes update articles about Firewise efforts in each edition of the newsletter. And Firewise updates are part of the monthly Association meetings, which are very well attended.
Horizon Woods Landing shared with us, “The Firewise Committee, along with our partners from the NJ Forest Fire Service and Hamilton Township Emergency Services organizations, met with our residents to show them the results of our proactive efforts to reduce the threat of a wildfire in our community, and to let them know we will continue to communicate with them about our ongoing efforts to keep our community safe.”
Little Egg Harbor Township, NJ
Little Egg Harbor Firewise Committee had good attendance at their Firewise Day presentation. State and local officials talked to the residents about the importance of preparing their homes for wildfire. Then they distributed Firewise materials, and the residents worked on Firewise presentations. The community plans spring and Fall cleanups to reduce fuels around houses, and recommends cleaning roofs and gutters twice a year. The community shared with us, “We had a really nice time and people discussed safe plantings and more aggressive fuel mitigation.”