Having a beautiful country house or cottage in a beautiful woodland setting has become a reality for some people, some like to go out camping and a few spend a good time at their survival shelter in the wilderness. The tranquil life, the fresh air, and beautiful natural surroundings are something you want to wake up to every day.
However, in as much as you may feel safe in your remote surroundings, they are dangers that you may not be able to escape, and one of them is wildfires. We have seen just how much damage wildfires can cause. They can be deadly and devastating. You should also keep in mind that wildfires can happen almost everywhere. Even when you are on the holiday.
Wildfires are hard to escape if you get caught unprepared. You need to prep early for such an eventuality especially if you live in areas that are prone to wildfires. Even if you live in a place where wildfires rarely occur, it does not hurt to prepare in advance in case of such an eventuality or any other type of disaster.
You do not want to find yourself marooned in the midst of a wildfire unable to escape. People who live in wooded areas or areas with plenty of grasslands are constantly faced with the danger of wildfires. So if you live in such an area, it may be wise to start stocking up on emergency supplies, but just enough to carry in a backpack.
It is also advisable to create an escape plan, preferably one that will get you to safety as fast as possible. In such an event, the best way to escape is by car and not on foot. Therefore, always have a car that is in working condition and has a full tank for an easy and fast get away.
Stay informed. Listen to weather reports frequently and stay vigilant. If a fire alert is signaled, you will know about it and that gives you time to get to a safe place. Wildfires are unpredictable. You may assume that just because a wildfire is many miles from where you live, you are safe. But, that may not be the case. So stay alert and keep up with the news reports to stay informed.
For that purpose, any kind of battery operated handheld radio is essential to have hwne you are camping or trekkiing in the woods.
Prepping your home
Prepping should not just involve stocking up on emergency supplies and creating an escape plan, you should also prep your home to reduce the chances of it catching fire. Clear any bushes that are close to your house. Tree branches that may be touching or hanging over your home should be trimmed as well. You want to remove any material that is combustible to reduce any possibility of your house catching fire.
Of course, you do not want a bare looking compound as it will be ugly to look at; therefore, plant bushes and trees that contain plenty of moisture, such as maple, buckthorn and birch trees. Avoid planting trees that contain high resin content as they are highly flammable.
It is also a good idea to build your outbuildings with fire-resistant materials. If you have a grill that uses propane gas, avoid storing it in a space that is attached to the house. You should also ensure that your roofing shingles are fire-resistant. Avoid stacking construction material or firewood within the danger zone.
If you have a water feature or swimming pool in your compound, make sure that it is partially or completely filled with water, which can be used to put out a fire. If you are aware that there is a fire breakout not too far from your home, take precautionary measures to protect your house from catching fire.
You can do this by spraying water on your roof and around your compound. Make sure that anything that can catch fire easily is soaked with water. If no evacuation order has been sent out in your area, it is still good to be ready with your emergency supplies packed in your getaway car just in case.
Planning ahead is very essential. You need to have a meet-up spot, where all the family members can meet up in the event that some members may be somewhere else other than home.
Remove any heavy drapings you may have on your windows and ensure that all electrical equipment in the house is shut off and wires disconnected from the sockets. Leave all lights on so that your house is easily spotted. Do not lock the doors so that it will be easy for firefighters to gain access to your home without causing any damage to the doors.
If an evacuation order is sent out, as long as you have prepared in advance, all you need to do is get out. Make sure you have several getaway routes mapped out. So in case, one route is blocked by the wildfire or by other people trying to get away from the area, you can use another route.
Emergency supplies to pack
In case you are not sure what emergency supplies to pack. Here is a list to help you out.
- Enough water and food that can last you and your family a couple of days
- Cooking and eating utensils. This may not be necessary, but you never know just how long the crisis may last. If worse comes to worse and you run out of food, you may need to do some hunting and gathering
- Thermal blankets. One for each member of your family
- A radio to keep you updated on what is going on
- Respirators or face masks as well as hand gloves
- Cell phones just in case you need to contact a relative, friend or emergency personnel
- Extra clothing and eye protection gear for each member of your family
- Medication and first aid supplies
- Battery-powered flashlights
- Important documents, such as birth certificates, title deeds, insurance policies, passports, and IDs.
Watch video for preparing for wildfire
You may choose to add a few extra things like tools that you feel might come in handy, such as an axe or a shovel. These tools can be used to put out small fires. You can stock up any other items that you feel you might need. However, it is important to stock up more on the essentials, such as food and water, which are vital.