According to an NFPA® report on youth and wildfire preparedness, only 21% of students interviewed in wildfire prone regions have a family preparedness plan for when they are home alone. Even more amazing is that only 10% had evacuation bags prepared for themselves at home. However 65% of these young people were aware that a fire could happen at any time and anywhere.
Wildfire Community Preparedness Day is this Saturday, May 4th, and an excellent time to start the family conversation around what to do before and when a wildfire happens. Take a moment to discuss what the plan is when your young family members are home alone or if they are home, caring for younger children. Some ideas for developing your family plan include:
- Connecting with a trusted neighbor close by who your children know who can evacuate them.
- Or, setting up a schedule with other working parents in the neighborhood, so that one is always at home and can make sure the children are safe.
- Packing a Go Bag with treasured items, water, food, prescriptions, etc. That they can grab and leave quickly with.
- Practice together with their pets if time allows to be able to crate them and go.
- Have a designated contact, such as an out of town family member’s number programmed into their cell phone so that you can find each other quickly.
The most important thing that you can do as a family is to make sure your home and the landscape immediately surrounding your home is well maintained for wildfire safety. You want to make sure that those you care about are safe and secure. For more information about wildfire safety tips check out NFPA’s Firewise USA® webpage.
Photo shared with permission from Jason King