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  • Writer's pictureInstitute Staff

California Wildfires Claim More Lives, Now Deadliest in California History

Updated: Nov 4, 2020

On November 8, 2018, wildfires began wreaking havoc across northern and southern California. Camp Fire is in Butte County, and Woolsey Fire is in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. The two fires are responsible for 76 civilian deaths, over 1,200 individuals unaccounted for, and massive property destruction.

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How to Prepare for a Wildfire Evacuation

The tragic events unfolding in California remind us that preparedness is key. The time to make a plan is well before an event, not during a crisis. Here are some steps on how you can prepare for an evacuation:

  • Before: Use fire-resistant materials around your home and landscaping.

  • Check your insurance policy to ensure your property and belongings are covered.

  • Create a plan for the entire family, including pets. Establish a meeting area in case you and your family become separated.

  • Study your local community evacuation plan, and identify several escape routes.

  • Consider purchasing an All-Hazards receiver radio. They broadcast during emergency response situations.

  • Assemble an emergency supply kit. Create a 3-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person. Include extra medications—pack copies of important documents, such as birth certificates and passports. Have a “go bag” ready and filled with all emergency supplies.

  • Practice fire safety and prevention.

  • Practice first aid skills and emergency response training at a local facility.

  • Evacuate early, so you don’t get trapped. Check on your neighbors to make sure they aren’t in danger.

  • If there’s time: keep windows unlocked, move flammable materials or furniture away from windows, and leave lights on so firefighters can see through smoke.