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May 16

Fires have been a wake-up call. Now is the time to answer.

Posted on May 16, 2019 at 1:06 PM by Christopher Gray Garcia

As spring winds down and summer approaches, communities across California will be bracing for fire season. The last few years we’ve witnessed massively destructive fires that are burning more intensely and spreading rapidly, reducing entire communities to ashes, and everyone is rightly on edge.

These fires should be a wake up call for us all. Here in Placer we encourage all residents to take preventative measures to protect your homes from fire: clearing vegetation and establishing defensible space zones; making sure you’re using equipment like lawn mowers and tractors safely; hardening your home with fire-resistant roofing and other materials; and more. You can find more great information on how to prepare your home and family at readyforwildfire.org. 

There are other steps you should take now to prepare for emergencies, whether they may be fire-related or not. After all, our area is sadly not immune to other threats, from snowstorms to flooding or active shooters. Here are some general recommendations that will come in handy in all sorts of emergencies:

• Sign up to receive emergency alert notifications at placeralert.org, and make sure your information stays up-to-date. Also monitor radio, TV, or social media and follow instructions of local officials.
• Make a family emergency plan, and include your pets and neighbors.
• Make a communication plan so your family knows how to reconnect and reunite when a disaster strikes.
• Identify an out-of-town emergency contact who can let family and friends know where you are and how to reach you.
• Review insurance policies and make sure you’re covered.
• Keep copies of important documents in a secure place (a digital or waterproof location).
• Build or restock your emergency preparedness kits for home, work and your vehicle, include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies, for adults and children.
• Create an emergency savings fund and keep cash on hand for emergencies.

By the time emergency strikes, it’s often too late to complete many of these tasks, so taking just a little time now could be life-saving in the future – for your family and neighbors, and for firefighters on the front lines.

There are many more tools available for families to use - quick sheets to help you create plans, and interactive tools for kids - at ready.gov.

Be Well,
Rob

Dr. Rob, Robert Oldham, is Placer County’s public health officer and lives in Roseville. Contact his office at 530-889-7141.