California residents need to prepare for the never-ending fire season. Regardless of the causes of the more severe fires there are several things you can do to protect your family, home, and other assets. The perils can include direct loss to fire, utility interruption, home value, and insurability. Knowing what you can do to protect your home is just one of several steps you can take to minimize the effects of fires. Cal Fire has a great website to help you prepare, www.readyforwildfire.org. They have four categories of preparedness:
Locally the Moraga-Orinda Fire District recommends the following to prepare your property:
- Cut grass to no higher than 3 inches
- Limb up trees to 6 feet off the ground
- Cut bushes, shrubs and trees so they are separated and don’t create a “fire fuel ladder”
- Maintain vertical clearance over roadways to 15 feet and 3 feet back on each side
- Maintain roofs and gutters free of dead leaves and pine needles
In addition to actual physical loss, is contending with planned power outages. Whole house generators can be expensive, but smaller units that will help keep your lights, modems, and refrigerator on can be very helpful. Regular maintenance and practice setting up your generator is essential so that in a crisis it will work smoothly for you.
Lastly, your family and pets are more important than the house, cars, photos or computers. Make sure you have a plan for who is going with who and where you will meet. Have an out of the area contact person in everyone’s phones so you can all call the same person if you can’t reach each other. By following these precautions California residents can help prepare themselves and their assets for the dangerous fire season.