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Get Ready

LONG BEFORE THE FIRE ARRIVES

WILDFIRES ARE LIKE OTHER DISASTERS

PREPARATION IS THE KEY TO SURVIVAL

Wild Fire close to houses

THE TIME TO PREPARE IS NOW

Getting READY is step #1 in keeping your family safe.

WUI

Do you know what the WUI is? The Wildland Urban Interface is the area where residential areas like neighborhoods back up to wild areas. If you live in areas of Los Angeles like the Hollywood Hills, and many parts of the San Fernando Valley, you live within or close to the WUI.

The city of Los Angeles is prone to wildfires because of three major factors:

  • large residential population
  • hot, dry climate
  • There are multiple wildland urban interfaces within and adjacent to the city limits

If you live near the WUI, the time to prepare for wildfires is now.

Red Flag

In Los Angeles, there are Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones. The Fire Department and the Department of Transportation have created a program called Red Flag. During Red Flag Days – days when the humidity is very low, brush is very dry, and winds are predicted to be high – vehicles parked on narrow streets must be moved. Learning from past wildfire fatalities, Los Angeles knows that vehicles parked along roads can block residents who are trying to evacuate from wildfires, and can delay fire apparatus trying to get to the fire front.

The program began in 2006. The Department of Transportation has posted more than 1700 signs throughout the city in Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones. If there is a red flag sign on your street, you live in a Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones. Here is a map of the Zones. When the city determines there are Red Flag conditions, parking along the signed streets is prohibited.

You can learn more about the program, and whether today is a Red Flag day by going to http://lafd.org/redflag/.

Hardening Your Home

Making your home as impervious as possible to fire is a great place to start.

  • Screen your attic vent outlets with wire mesh – this will help keep flying embers and other burns debris from getting into your home
  • No wood shake roofs! The City of Los Angeles has outlawed wood shakes roofs because of their extreme danger in spreading wildfires. You can read more about the law here
  • On high wildfire hazard days, monitor news radio stations

Get to Know Your Neighbors

Nothing will bring a community together like a disaster. Knowing your neighbors before disaster strikes is an excellent way to help your whole neighborhood stay safe. Identify where your elderly neighbors live, and make sure they have everything they might need to stay safe. Discuss your emergency plans with your neighbors. Tell them about Ready, Set and Go. Ask them if they have a Family Escape Plan in place.

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