Appendix C: Pre-fire readiness
There are several options if a wildfire threatens your home that depends on your degree of readiness and capability. If you have taken measures such as the Quick-fixes, some of the important Long-term actions, and have done your Prefire planning (below), you should be ready if a fire threatens your house or if there is a mandated evacuation. In some cases, an evacuation order is not given...
a. Keep your lot fire-safe! Rake dead leaves, trim shrubs, and make sure all combustibles are away from any structures.
b. Precut covers for soffit and frieze-block vents. The best material to use is plywood that is not less than 1/2 inch thick. To make things easier, predrill holes for nails or screws (the choice of nails or screws depends on the accessibility of the vents and your preference). The frieze-block vent covers can be a long narrow piece that just fits over the blocking between the rafters don't try to cover the individual openings. Once these are cut, make sure that they can easily be attached and are interchangeable. Make extras so that you do not run short for any reason. Store these inside, such as on a garage shelf, and labeled so that they don't walk off.
c. First floor windows and glass sliding doors should also have similar covers prepared and stored. These should be labeled with a magic marker so that there is no confusion about where they go.
d. Make a list of places where drinking water is (toilet tanks) or can be stored (bottled water). Don't assume that you will have water pressure during these types of fires.
e. Make a list of important items that you want to assemble in the event of a necessary evacuation. Don't wait for the fire to arrive and then try this.
f. If you have pets, make sure that you have a carrier or leash for each.
g. Have protective clothing available for evacuation: gloves, boots or heavy work shoes, coveralls (long sleeve), a hat, and goggles for eye protection.
h. Make some downspout plugs so that you can flood your gutters with water.
I. Assemble an emergency kit consisting of:
1. A list of all the equipment and materials that might be needed for fire protection
2. Flashlight and spare batteries (plus a rechargeable one if it would be locatable)
3. Several screwdrivers (for attaching covers don't assume that you will have power or a fully-charged portable screwdriver). Have enough so that everyone can help
4. Battery powered radio
5. Telephone numbers for relatives
6. Face masks to filter smoke particulates
j. Dry run. Make a dry run to see if all of the above are available. In particular, see how long it takes to install the vent/window covers.