Fire safety: 3 components
There are 3 components to being prepared in case of a local wildfire: Ready, Set, Go.
READY – This is really a two-part component. The first is to start with the basic individual preparation step. Go outside your home and remove combustible vegetation or bark within the first 5 feet surrounding your home. Relocate firewood storage away from the house and remove any combustible or flammable material. Clean out your gutters and remove the leaf litter on your roof. Ensure that a fire engine can see your address and they have 14-foot by 14-foot clearance from trees and shrubs. Finally, make sure that you have your pool, water tank hydrant and/or garden hoses ready if needed.
The second part is to educate yourself to increase your understanding/situational awareness of your wildland fire problem and fire behavior in your geographical area. You should learn how to take basic steps to prepare your home and understand evacuation routes and procedures. This part is now made more difficult due to the COVID-19 virus. It will be harder to predict where there will be shelters and where you might evacuate if there are still “stay in place” orders.
SET – is being ready to evacuate (have your “GO” bag kit ready). And now, make plans to have ready provisions if no shelters are available. What if you have to sit in a parking lot in your car? Think about and have included with your GO kit items for that scenario. Also, what if you have pets that might end up in the car with you for a night or two?
GO – means to act early to self-evacuate or obey law enforcement’s evacuation directions. The goal is to eliminate the immediate flying ember hazards and to escape safely.
The Scripps Ranch Fire Safe Council is working with the City of San Diego and Fire Department to help the community become more aware of issues arising in the event of an evacuation during the pandemic. If you need an evacuation plan, email us at srfiresafecouncilgmail.org or call us at (858) 201-3711.