National Preparedness Week 3: Prepare for Disasters in Riverside City
With fires taking place all over California, being prepared hits close to home especially for residents in Azusa, Yucaipa and those near Sequoia National Forest.
The information from Ready.gov helps limit the impacts that disasters have on you and your family. Know the risk of disasters in your area and check your insurance coverage. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of fires, earthquakes, heat waves and other common hazards and act fast if you receive a local warning or alert.
In this blog we will discuss how to prepare for wildfires and extreme heat. Look for our next blog covering being prepared for earthquakes.
Wildfires can ruin homes and cause injuries or death to people and animals. A wildfire is an unplanned fire that burns in a natural area such as a forest, grassland, or prairie. Wildfires can:
- Often be caused by humans or lightning.
- Cause flooding or disrupt transportation, gas, power, and communications.
- Happen anywhere, anytime. Risk increases with in periods of little rain and high winds.
- Cost the Federal Government billions of dollars each year.
IF YOU ARE UNDER A WILDFIRE WARNING, GET TO SAFETY RIGHT AWAY
- Leave if told to do so.
- If trapped, call 9-1-1.
- Listen for emergency information and alerts.
- Use N95 masks to keep particles out of the air you breathe.
HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A WILDFIRE THREATENS
Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts. Sign up for email updates about coronavirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Check AirNow.gov for information about your local air quality.
- Know your community’s evacuation routes and find several ways to leave the area. Drive the evacuation routes while following the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and your state and local authorities to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Have a plan for pets and livestock. Remember that some shelters do not accept pets.
- Prepare for long-term social distancing by gathering emergency supplies. Include cleaning supplies, non-perishable foods, first aid supplies, and water. Consider gathering soap, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol, household cleaning supplies, and masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Set aside supplies in case you must evacuate to your safe location. After a wildfire, you may not have access to these supplies for days or even weeks. Don’t forget the needs of pets. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Obtain extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment. Being prepared allows you to address smaller medical issues at home, alleviating the burden on urgent care centers and hospitals.
- Being prepared allows you to avoid unnecessary excursions and to address minor medical issues at home, alleviating the burden on urgent care centers and hospitals.
- Remember that not everyone can afford to respond by stocking up on necessities. For those who can afford it, making essential purchases and slowly building up supplies in advance will allow for longer time periods between shopping trips. This helps to protect those who are unable to procure essentials in advance of the pandemic and must shop more frequently. In addition, consider avoiding WIC-approved products so that those who rely on these products can access them.
- If you already have one at home, set aside a respirator, like an N95 respirator, to keep smoke particles out of the air you breathe. Respirators are not meant to fit children. Due to COVID-19, it may be difficult to find respirators. While cloth face coverings, surgical masks, and dust masks provide protection from exposure to COVID-19, they will not protect you from smoke inhalation. To ensure that healthcare workers have access to N95 respirators, it is best to limit your exposure to smoke rather than buy respirators.
- Designate a room that can be closed off from outside air. Close all doors and windows. Set up a portable air cleaner to keep indoor pollution levels low when smoky conditions exist.
- Keep important documents in a fireproof, safe place. Create password-protected digital copies.
- Use fire-resistant materials to build, renovate, or make repairs.
- Find an outdoor water source with a hose that can reach any area of your property.
- Create a fire-resistant zone that is free of leaves, debris, or flammable materials for at least 30 feet from your home.
- Review insurance coverage to make sure it is enough to replace your property.
- Pay attention to air quality alerts.
Extreme heat is a period of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees for at least two to three days. In extreme heat your body works extra hard to maintain a normal temperature, which can lead to death. In fact, extreme heat is responsible for the highest number of annual deaths among all weather-related hazards.
- Extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning.
- Older adults, children and sick or overweight individuals are at greater risk from extreme heat.
- Humidity increases the feeling of heat as measured by a heat index.
IF YOU ARE UNDER AN EXTREME HEAT WARNING:
- Find air conditioning.
- Avoid strenuous activities.
- Wear light clothing.
- Check on family members and neighbors.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
- Never leave people or pets in a closed car.
HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN EXTREME HEAT THREATENS
Find places in your community where you can go to get cool while following the latest guidelines from CDC about social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Try to keep your home cool:
- Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device.
- Cover windows with drapes or shades.
- Weather-strip doors and windows.
- Use window reflectors such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard to reflect heat back outside.
- Add insulation to keep the heat out.
- Use a powered attic ventilator, or attic fan, to regulate the heat level of a building’s attic by clearing hot air.
- Install window air conditioners and insulate around them.
- Learn to recognize the signs of heat illness. For more information visit: www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning.html
If you are directly impacted by fire, or even smoke damage we have years of experience on remediating damage. We can help, and we offer FREE inspections! Call us 951-351-8033