What To Do When You Receive A Fire Emergency Alert

Posted On: December 3rd, 2019

A fire emergency alert is one of the best ways to be informed about fire danger in your area. If you get one of these alerts, what do you do? Here’s a guide to how to prepare for an alert, and what you should do once the alert comes.


Before the Fire Emergency Alert Happens

You should still be preparing for a fire before you ever get an alert. The more prepared you are now, the easier it will be when the alert does come. What should you do in order to be prepared?

  • Sign up for alerts: The very first thing you should do is sign up for alerts, if you haven’t already. These will come through on your phone and let you know if there’s a danger of fire near you. The way you get these may vary depending on where you live, so look into how you get alerts now. If you’re ready now, you won’t have to worry about knowing when to evacuate due to fire.
  • Make an emergency kit: Having your emergency kit put together now will save you precious time in the event of a fire. Put the kit together, and place it somewhere it will be easy to grab on the way out the door. This kit should include things like bottled water, medication, a first aid kit, warm blankets, spare clothes, and so on. When putting together your kit, remember any pets that you have and bring items they will need too.
  • Create an evacuation plan: This is a vital step in preparing for a fire. If you get the alert you won’t have a lot of time to get out. Knowing what you’ll do in the event of a fire will reduce panic and help everyone get away safely. Put together a plan, and practice it with your family. Where will you meet up? How will you get away? Practice it until everyone knows the plan by heart.
  • Fireproof your home: There are ways you can make your home more fire resistant, so look into doing this before a fire happens. For example, you can use fire resistant materials on the exterior of your home, such as fire resistant metal roofing and fire resistant shutters. Rake away dead vegetation and plant fire resistant plants, such as aloe and ice plant, around the perimeter of your property.
  • Keep an eye on the news: Even before you get the alert, you’ll still see what’s happening in your area thanks to the news. Keep a close eye on the TV, to see what’s happening


When You Get the Alert

Now you’ve had the alert about the fire, what should you do? If you’ve prepared, it shouldn’t be too difficult to act. Here’s what you need to do.

  • Evacuate: This is the most important thing you must do. If there’s no time, simply grab your evacuation kit and leave as soon as you can. Get in the car and drive away from the fire. Let someone know where you’re going, and what time you left.
  • Call 911: If you haven’t received the alert yet, but you can see a wildfire, call 911 right away. Don’t leave it, assuming that someone else has called. Even if they have, dispatchers will want to know about the spread of the fire. Evacuate as soon as you see fire, even if you haven’t had the alert telling you to do so.
  • Prepare your home: If you have time, you can make some small preparations before you evacuate. Find a ladder long enough to reach your roof, and place it against the house in case fire fighters need to use it. Close all the doors in the home, and move any flammable furniture to the middle of every room. Shut off the gas and electrics, and fill up all pools, bathtubs, sinks and so on with water, to help fire fighters again if needed.
  • Wait for the all clear: Once you’ve evacuated, don’t go back to your home until you get the all clear from the authorities. Going back before this will potentially put you in danger. Stay put until the area has been deemed safe.


After the Danger Has Passed

Once you’ve heeded the alert, got the all clear and come back, you’ll still have some work to do to make your home safe. Here’s what to do once you’ve come back home.

  • Look for hot embers: The risk of fire may not have truly passed, so be careful when you go back home. Look for hot embers during a thorough inspection of your home and grounds. They can be  in the grass, in attics, and under porches for example. If you find any, call 911 so they can be taken care of.
  • Be careful of downed power lines: During a fire, power lines can be knocked down. These are exceedingly dangerous. If you spot them, do not approach, and again call 911 to help you.
  • Turn your electricity and gas back on: Before turning on the power or gas, check that the mains boxes haven’t been damaged by fire. If they haven’t, go ahead and turn them back on. If not, call an engineer to come and do repairs before you turn it on.
  • Be vigilant: Even a few days after you’ve been given the all clear to go home, be vigilant. Hot spots, hidden embers and other dangers can make fire break out again. Keep a close eye on your surroundings for the next few days, and call for help if you need it.
  • Sign up for alerts: If you hadn’t done so before the wildfire, then now’s the time to do it. Now you’re signed up, you’ll be able to get warnings if this ever happens again.


The Bottom Line

Being signed up for the fire emergency alert is essential if you live in an area affected by wildfires. Sign up now, and be ready to evacuate as soon as you get the notice. It’s the best way to keep you and your family safe.

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