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Recovery

HELPINIG YOU GET BACK ON YOUR FEET

RETURNING HOME

THE BAD STUFF IS BEHIND YOU.
NOW, IT’S TIME TO MOVE FORWARD.

 

IMPORTANT: For December wildfire information, please visit this important page: Current Fire Status

 
The results from a wildfire can be devastating. We understand. The first thing you need to know is that you’re not alone. There are a wealth of resources out there to help you get back on your feet.
 

  WHEN YOU RETURN HOME

When you are permitted to return home, there are some important steps to take. Use these checklists to ensure your safety and to begin the process of recovery. Before returning home, it’s a good idea to have the following things with you (available at any home supply store)

  IF YOU FIND ANY OF THESE CONDITIONS:

Dial 9-1-1. Give the dispatch operator your exact location. Stay away from fire. Don’t attempt to extinguish wildfire embers on your own.

Call your local utility. Tell them exactly what you’re seeing and provide a good location. Don’t touch damaged electrical equipment.

If you smell gas, report the problem to your local utility. Leave the area immediately.

  CHECK THE EXTERIOR OF YOUR PROPERTY!

Before entering a damaged building, or before entering a property that has burned to the ground, check the area around the property. Be aware of significant issues and take care. Watch where you step, as ash may conceal holes or depressions in the ground. Take photos if you can.

Any trees or poles that have been burned may still be hot. If you see any smoke drifting away from these items, avoid them and consider them to be hazardous.

You may see areas where the ask on the ground is white. This is evidence of extremely hot material (or it was). Stay away if possible, and be careful where you step.

Don’t step in these areas. Smoldering areas may conceal holes that are still hot or contain hot embers.

  CHECKING YOUR HOME FOR FIRE OR DAMAGE

If you return home and it appears that your home is either unaffected or has been slightly to moderately damaged, it’s important that you operate slowly and safety to determine if the home is safe for entry (by your family, pets, or others). Always have your mobile phone and a flashlight with you. Don’t inspect the interior of a fire damaged home at night.

One of the reasons wildfires are so dangerous is the ability for embers to fly extremely long distances. They may smolder for days before igniting. Check your attic, crawlspaces, and eaves for embers. Check inside any vents that may be accessed via the exterior of the building.

Check for any water that may have entered the home from firefighting activities or broken water lines. Ensure the water is off if you discover any waterlogged areas within the structure. Contact the water and power company and ask for an inspection.

If you have a landline phone, is it working?

Check to make certain all utilities are off. If you have a gas oven or heating, call the local gas company to come and turn the gas on. They’ll know what to do to ensure everyone is safe. If the electricity is off, check with your local utility to get an update on safety restoring power.

Are your security system and home security devices working? If not, contact the appropriate vendor to help you restore service.

 
 

IMPORTANT: If you discover any damage within the home, it’s important that you take photographs and record notes for your insurance carrier.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

The first place to look is the Cal OES California Wildfire Statewide Recovery Resource website. This website has most of the in-depth help you’ll need to start your path to recovery. Everything from services, debris removal housing and financial help is listed.
 
If you need immediate help, the American Red Cross has information on wildfire relief.
 
The United States Department of Labor also has some useful information on their website.
 
If you’re worried about rain and debris flow that often follows wildfire, MySafe:LA has solutions.
 
Finally, don’t forget The Red Guide to Recovery book. It’s available online by clicking here.
 
Come back and visit us every few weeks as we’ll be posting additional information in an ongoing basis.
 
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