With wildfires blazing in four states in the past 24 hours, the American Red Cross encourages families and individuals to take preparedness steps now before a wildfire threatens their home or community.
Tuesday night, wildfires caused the evacuation of tens of thousands of homes in Southern California, as well as homes in New Mexico and Arizona. Meanwhile, the grassfire in the Texas panhandle continues to burn and threaten homes. These hot, dry and windy conditions are forecast to persist through Thursday in parts of the Southwest.
WILDFIRE APP Wildfires can break out suddenly, with little notice. To prepare, download the free Red Cross Wildfire App.
“It is vital that people know what to do to help protect themselves, their loved ones and their property from wildfires,” said Scott C. Somers, Ph.D., member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council and fire management expert based in Arizona. “App users learn what to do before, during and after wildfires which allows them to make critical, life-saving decisions.”
The preloaded content gives users instant access to safety information – even without mobile connectivity. You can also get the latest news from local, state and federal fire agencies in the Wildfire News section.
BEFORE A WILDFIRE Remove anything that can catch fire from around your home, garage and outdoor shed, including firewood and propane tanks. If it’s flammable, keep it away from your house, deck or porch. Obey outside burning bans when issued.
Other things you can do to be prepared include:
IF A FIRE OCCURS Listen to your local media for updates on the fire and be ready to leave quickly. Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing your direction of escape.
You should also:
AFTER THE FIRE Don’t go home until fire officials say it is safe. Be cautious entering a burned area – hazards could still exist. Avoid damaged or downed power lines, poles and wires.
Other things to do include:
Nearly 45 million homes in more than 72,000 communities across the United States are near woodlands and could be affected by a wildfire. Click Here for more information on what you should do to be ready for wildfires.
Tags: Wildfire Safety 2014.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.