CalFire has created a three step program called “Ready, Set, Go!”
By Bill Monning
California’s fire season is getting longer and more dangerous each year. Our state’s geography, weather patterns, and number of Wildland Urban Interface communities — areas where homes and wildland intermix — make California extremely vulnerable to devastating wildfires.
Fifteen of the 20 most destructive wildfires in the state’s history have occurred since 2000, and 10 of them have occurred since 2015.
The recently enacted budget increased funding for wildfire preparedness and prevention, and includes $225.8 million for forest health and wildfire prevention, as well as $210 million for CalFire to complete fuel reduction projects. In addition, it allocates $50 million to improve the state’s 9-1-1 system, upgrading it from an analog system to a digital system, significantly improving emergency response capabilities.
As much as this funding will help, you should do what you can to prepare your own home and protect your family against wildfire. CalFire has created a three step program called “Ready, Set, Go!” that breaks down what you need to do in order to be ready for wildfire.
Step 1 — “Get Ready.” Being prepared for wildfire starts with maintaining defensible space and by hardening your home by using fire resistant building materials.
Step 2 — “Get Set.” Before a wildfire strikes it is important that you prepare for the possibility of having to evacuate by creating a Wildfire Action Plan, assembling an Emergency Supply Kit for each person in your household, and filling out a Family Communication Plan that includes important evacuation and contact information for each and every member of your family.
Step 3 — “Go!” Give your household the best chance of surviving a wildfire by being ready to go and evacuate early. Being ready to go means increasing your home’s defenses, if possible, and knowing when to evacuate and what to do if you become trapped.
You can find more information at www.readyforwildfire.org. The better prepared you are, the more likely you are to survive and recover after a wildfire, and I encourage everyone to take the steps necessary to prepare yourself and your family.
Bill Monning is the California State Senator for District 17.
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