With wildfires up 45% and dry season upon us, is your home ready? California wildfires burn uncontrollably during the summer, and although you can’t stop them from happening, you can prepare your home and your family to be ready in case one happens.

Preplanning can save you and your family a lot of strife, and give you a little piece of mind:

1. Build the structure with fire-resistant materials or treat them with UL-approved fire-retardant chemicals. It can keep you safe, or prevent extreme damage in the event that a fire does get close to your home.
2. Plant fire-resistant shrubs and trees. Hardwood trees like maples and birch trees are much less flammable than pine, evergreen, eucalyptus or fir trees.
3. Create a safety zone around your house. Remove all dead branches, leaves and flammable vegetation, mow grass regularly and clear a 10-foot radius around propane tanks and the barbecue.
4. Call the power company. If you notice branches swaying near power lines, call the power company and ask them to be cleared.
5. Plan escape routes. Every member of your family should know how to evacuate your neighborhood, by car and by foot, incase of an emergency. Better yet, plan three-four different routes to safety.
6. Prepare emergency supplies. Chances are, if you don’t plan ahead you will forget vital supplies in the chaos. Plan to pack: a three-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day), one change of clothing per person, a first aid kit, battery-powered flashlights, radios, and extra batteries, an extra set of car keys, credit cards and cash, sanitation supplies, and an extra pair of eyeglasses.

There’s no such thing as being too prepared. Want to know more about how to prepare your home (and your insurance policy) for a wildfire? Feel free to contact me with any of your questions or concerns.

Carrie Van Beurden