Capital Area Chapter Blog

American Red Cross

Get Prepared for Wildfires in Florida

With fire season around the corner, is your home ready for wildfire coming? This week, April 8-14, 2012, is Florida Wildfire Awareness Week! The Red Cross urges homeowners to become aware of the dangers of wildfires and to protect themselves as well as their property from wildfires.

“Wildfires are a year round threat in Florida, but we are now entering what is considered the peak of the season,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Bryan W. Koon. “Because of the dangers posed by wildfires, we urge all Floridians to become Firewise, develop a family disaster plan, and be prepared throughout the year.”

So far this year, Florida has faced approximately 1,600 wildfires, which have burned more than 52,000 acres of state and federally managed land. Florida has the second highest number of wildfires in the nation. However, as warmer temperatures and drier conditions occur, the grass and brush will begin to dry out and the fire danger will dramatically increase. Florida experience severe wildfires which destroy homes and disrupt people’s lives.

Here are wildfire safety tips:

  • Create a safe space of 30 feet around your home that is lean, clean, and green.
  • Make sure your driveway is 12 feet wide with an overhead clearance of at least 15 feet.
  • Keep gutter, eaves, and yards clear of debris, sticks, pine needles, and leaves.
  • Trim all the branches from the tress in the yard or are lower than 6 to 10 feet from the ground to prevent fire from climbing to the crowns of the trees.
  • Plan only fire-resistant shrubs and trees. For example, hardwood trees are less flammable than pine, evergreen, eucalyptus or fir trees.
  • Use fire-resistant construction materials when building decks or fences for your home.
  • Follow local regulations for the burning or disposal of yard waste and other materials.
  • Develop a family disaster plan, including at least two evacuation routes.

For more information regarding strengthening your home and getting a family plan, please visit Florida Division of Emergency Management at www.FloridaDisaster.org. Please also visit Twitter at http://www.Twitter.com/flsert and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/floridasert.

In addition, the National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise program encourages Floridians to take proactive, preventative measures to reduce wildfire threat around their homes. You can visit their website at http://www.firewise.org/.

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This entry was posted on April 16, 2012 by in Preparedness.

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