With the nearby Lake Fire at 50% containment and multiple fires active in northern California, the Santa Clarita Disaster Coalition recommends Santa Clarita residents get familiar with fire safety tips.
California’s wildfire season is often unpredictable, but with a little bit of preparation, Santa Clarita homeowners can reduce their chances of embers catching on their property and increase their chances of a smooth evacuation.
Prepare Your Home
Look around your property, specifically checking for dead or dry vegetation and other flammable objects. Make sure gutters are clear and roof tiles aren’t in need of repair. Remove dead plants and flammable furniture or drywood from the property, either disposing them or moving them indoors when possible.
The inside of your house is another important consideration for fire safety. Make sure there’s a clear pathway to doors and first-story windows in case you or a loved one needs to escape during a house fire. Pay attention to high risk areas, like fireplaces and space heaters, and check whether your home’s electrical wiring is up to code.
Prepare Your Belongings
No matter how hard a person works to protect their home from wildfires, sometimes it’s necessary to evacuate. No matter where you live, it’s important to have a plan to gather and transport important documents and necessary survival items in case of an emergency.
Disaster preparedness experts recommend assembling a disaster kit to take with in case of an emergency. Most disaster kit recommendations include 72 hours worth of food and water per person, a first aid kit, a change of clothes and some basic survival gear.
Some experts recommend keeping this bag in the car so that households can evacuate at a moment’s notice. For that reason, it may be best to keep medicines and important documents, like social security cards and passports, in a separate location inside the house (in a pre-determined and easily accessible location) so they aren’t lost if someone breaks into the vehicle.
Prepare Your Household
Make sure everyone in your household is on the same page about what to do and where to go in case of a disaster.
Designate at least two locations for members of your household to go in case they have to evacuate the home on foot. Choose at least two exit routes for driving out of your neighborhood in the event of a wildfire.
Know About Local Services
In the worst case scenario, it can be helpful to know about local charity efforts to help those directly impacted by local disasters. The Santa Clarita Coalition is connected with a number of non-profit organizations, including Santa Clarita Grocery, which provide fresh groceries and supplies to people in need.
Wildfires are an annual part of life in Santa Clarita, but with some forethought, local families can be prepared for almost all eventualities.
To keep informed about local news and disasters, including fire evacuation in Santa Clarita, tune in to your local radio station, KHTS Radio FM 98.1 and AM 1220, or visit KHTS Radio on the web.