California is now in the midst of wildfire season. Combined with severe drought conditions, Southern California is just a spark and a Santa Ana wind gust away from seeing major damage.
This special edition of my newsletter focuses on wildfire prevention and preparation. Please consider the important steps below to protect you, your family, your property, and your neighborhood.
Additionally, as the Fourth of July weekend approaches, it is important that all Californians know that there is a zero tolerance policy for illegal fireworks and a $50,000 fine if convicted.
Thank you to CAL FIRE for providing much of the helpful information below. I hope you and your family will review the information and be “Ready–Set–Go.”
Patricia C. Bates
Senator, 36th District
Is your home fire-safe? Hardening your home is an important first step. There are many simple and inexpensive things you can do to lower your risk of a fire.
- Create 100 feet of defensible space around your home. Remove dry and/or dead vegetation from around your home.
- Remove piles of lumber and debris to allow better firefighter access and lessen fire damage.
- Remove dead leaves and needles from your roof and gutters. Click here for a full list on defensible space tips.
- Financial Readiness – review your insurance policies and take photos on your smartphone or video camera to document your belongings. Keep the video/photos outside the home. Click here to learn more.
- Create a Wildfire Action Plan that ensures all members of your family understand, especially in more rural areas. Click here to learn more.
- Put together an emergency supply kit. Include batteries, flashlights, prescriptions, water, and more. Click here for more items.
- Have a family communication plan. All members of your family should know where to go if your family is evacuated. Click here to learn more.
- When you are asked to evacuate – don't hesitate. Your life and the lives of first responders are put at greater risk when evacuation instructions are not followed.
- Prior to being ordered to evacuate there are many things you can do to help protect your home. Below are two helpful publications that you can download, print, and use:
During a wildfire, it may become difficult to get the information you need. To help prepare, here are some other links you may want to know now:
If you do not have a land line phone and only use a cell phone, add your cell phone to the reverse 911 dial program in your county. In an emergency, you will receive evacuation notices and instructions on your cell phone.
To register your phone in Orange County, click here or go to: https://member.everbridge.net/index/453003085613900#/login
Call 2-1-1 to learn of community, health, and disaster services. 2-1-1 is a free 24/7 phone service (Call 9-1-1 only in situations when immediate assistance is needed to respond to an emergency).
You can help keep your community safe. The Fire Safe Councils are like a Neighborhood Watch program for fire safety. Additionally, they can provide assistance to low-income homeowners to assist with brush clearance. They also provide information to the community on fire preparedness.
In San Diego County, contact the Fire Safe Council of San Diego County at 619.562.0096 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
In Orange County, contact the Fire Safe Council of East Orange County Canyons at www.fsceocc.org.
One of the best ways to receive the latest wildfire updates is via social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Here are some useful links:
CAL FIRE San Diego: Twitter