I have relatives near the fires in Texas and Oklahoma, and towns where I grew up are fighting to save lives and property, so fire has been on my mind lately. Fire is so hard to prepare for in some ways. Burns can be terrible and intensive to treat, a whole house burning down is just devastating.
Prevention – keeping the brush load low around your house can help slow a fire and give you time to fight it. If your area is prone to fires, a metal roof can be helpful in dealing with falling cinders. Fires can spread fast, and like many things, preparing for them is more of a constant (seasonal) awareness and readiness. I can remember long lectures as a child from older relatives about how to properly put out a fire and be sure of it.
Burn Care – Where there’s fire, there’s burns. Make sure you know how to diagnose burn degree and treat appropriately. Think about this, a loved one gets a first degree burn over a portion of their arm. If you’ve got 3 rolls of gauze (typical for a “first aid kit”) you’ve got about a day’s worth of bandages there, then you’ll be needing more. Upping your rolls of gauze to dozens will make sure you’re ready if you’ve got multiple burns, severe burns or need to provide first aid for longer than a few days.
Emergency Evacuation – One of the hallmarks of a wildfire, is the knock at the door emergency evacuation that happens for some people. You have to be ready to go at a moment’s notice, if there are fires nearby or high risk for one. Bug out bags really shine in this situation, and knowing that you have documents and food and a change of clothes ready means you can focus on important details like escape route and affected area and backup plans. Make sure you’ve thought about your animals as well.
Managing Risk – There are some ways to manage your risk of fire. If you have relatives who live out of the usual fire areas, you could store part of your emergency food there, and maybe a box of old clothing that still fits everyone. Fire safes can help protect documents in small fires, a hot enough wild fire will melt the box though. Make sure you keep your fire extinguishers charged and properly located.
How do you manage your risk of fire?
– Calamity Jane