Friday, March 23, 2007

Spreading Like A Wildfire

2007 Wildfire Season

Are you Prepared?

The December 2006-February 2007 U.S. winter season was drier than average in large sections of the southeast and west according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Much of Southern California just experienced its driest fall and winter in more than a century. “With the dry season fast approaching, there are major concerns that drought conditions will not only fail to improve but actually worsen in the coming months,” said Doug Lecomte, drought specialist for the NOAA Climate Prediction Center. “The outlook for any significant drought improvement from now through spring looks grim for not only Southern California but for much of the Southwest as well.”

Like the smell of smoke in the air, this forecast is not welcome news to those living and doing business in the wildland-urban interface areas of San Diego County.

We know where there's smoke... there is fire.

Now is the time to begin a preparedness plan and to carry it out.

A Blueprint for Survival

For Both Your Life and Your Livelihood

Family First
"The plans of the diligent one surely make for advantage". Although this statement was made more than 2,500 years ago it is sage advice for us today.

In the midst of a county wide emergency, families must be prepared to be "stand alones" that is, self sufficient. If a family can save itself then they will be prepared to possibly save others and allow fire fighting resources to focus on the hot spots and the ones who will have trouble saving themselves.

Develop a Disaster Preparedness Checklist

  1. Build a family disaster kit.

  2. How to Evacuate - where to go and what you should take.

  3. Animals in a Disaster - what to do with your pets and livestock and how to care for them.

  4. Family Communications Plan - how to stay in touch, together or apart.

Work or Business

Not a Good Time to Call in Sick

"Nothing personal it's just business", but it is personal. Our livelihood, investments and time are in our small (or large) business, therefore you need to know how to preserve business continuity.

Continuation of Business Planning

1. Employee Contact Information

2. Disaster Planning Questions

3. Evacuation Plan - what to take and why take it.

4. Planning for Livestock - Farms and Ranches

5. Public and Press Relations

As can be seen there is much to do but if you START now and understand the sense of urgency, then you will be faster than wildfire.

Southern California Wildfire Information and Resources

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) Communications Office is preparing for Wildfire Awareness Week 2007 May 6-12 promoting the theme, "Why 100 feet?... Because defensible space is YOUR responsibility." The week will include a series of events statewide to educate the public about wildland fire prevention.