What good is knowing HOW to go if you don’t know WHEN to go? If fire has already reached your backyard, it might be too late, no matter how much planning you did. Learn how to recognize the signs of a wildfire so your planning doesn’t go to waste.
First of all, find out when wildfire season is in your state. Most occur in June, July, and August, but if you live in a drier state, you may need to be vigilant for more of the year.
Keep up with local news and sign up for emergency alerts. You can download the FEMA app for alerts straight to your smartphone or sign up for wireless emergency alerts from the National Weather Service. Most homes in areas threatened by wildfires (determined by topography and weather, including wind direction) will receive a series of alerts, similar to the tiered tornado warning system. Since fire is unpredictable and evacuation traffic is a pill, some people may prefer to evacuate preemptively, while some may wait until there is an evacuation order. You may receive a knock on your door confirming the evacuation order in person as fire fighters do all they can to clear the area.
Whether you get the evacuation order by radio, TV, phone, or word of mouth, put your wildfire emergency plan into gear IMMEDIATELY!
But what about the aftermath?