Wildfire and other types of disasters - hurricane, flood, tornado, earthquake, hazardous materials spill, winter storm - can strike quickly and without warning. You can cope with disaster by preparing in advance and working together. Meet with your family to create a disaster plan. To get started...

Talk to Security .... (Val Larsen) to find out about the hazards in our Mountain Community.

Contact your local Emergency Management or Civil Defense office or your local American Red Cross chapter.
Ask how you would be warned.
Find out how to prepare for each type of disaster.

Meet with your family....

Discuss the types of disasters that could occur.
Explain how to prepare and respond to each type of disaster.
Discuss where to go and what to bring if advised to evacuate.
Practice what you have discussed.
Plan how your family will stay in contact if separated by disaster... Pick two meeting places:
1) a place a safe distance from your cabin in case of a cabin fire.
2) a place outside Lava Ranch in case you can't return here.
3)Choose an out-of-state friend as a "check-in contact" for everyone to call.

Complete these steps ....

Post emergency telephone numbers by every phone and in your car.
Show responsible family members how and when to shutoff water, gas and electricity at main switches.
Contact your local fire department to learn about home fire hazards.
Learn first aid and CPR. Contact your local American Red Cross chapter for information and training.

Practice and review these steps.

Talk to me about ANY concerns....
Val Larsen

Below is more complete safety information that I feel is important.

Wildfires often begin unnoticed. They spread quickly, igniting brush, trees and homes. Reduce your risk by preparing now - before wildfire strikes. Meet with your family to decide what to do and where to go if wildfires threaten your area. Follow the steps listed here to protect your family, home and property.

Practice Wildfire Safety ....

People start most wildfires. . . find out how you can promote and practice wildfire safety.

Contact your local fire department, health department or forestry office for information on fire laws. Make sure that fire vehicles can get to your cabin.

Clearly mark all driveway entrances and display your address AND lot number.

Report hazardous conditions that could cause a wildfire.

Teach children about fire safety. Keep matches out of their reach.

Post emergency telephone numbers.

Plan several escape routes away from your cabin - by car and by foot. Drive around different roads at the 'property' and try to think of different routes to get off the hill.

Talk to your neighbors about wildfire safety. Plan how to work together after a wildfire. Make a list of your neighbors' skills such as medical or technical.

Consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs such as elderly or dis-abled persons. Make plans to take care of children or pets who may be on their own if adults can't get back to the 'property'.

Regularly clean roof and gutters.

Inspect chimneys at least twice a year. Clean them at least once a year. Keep the dampers in good working order. Equip chimneys and stovepipes with a spark arrester that meets the requirements of National Fire Protection Association Code 211. (Contact your local fire department for exact specifications.)

Use l/ 2-inch mess screen be-neath porches, decks, floor areas and the cabin itself. Also, screen openings to floors, roof and attic.

Install a smoke detector on each level of your cabin, especially near bedrooms; test monthly and change the batteries two times each year.

Teach each family member how to use a fire extinguisher (ABC type) and show them where they are kept.

Keep a ladder that will reach the roof.

Consider installing protective shutters or heavy fire-resistant drapes.

Keep handy household items that can be-used as fire tools: a rake, axe, handsaw or chainsaw, bucket and shovel.

Before Wildfire Threatens ....

Design and landscape your property/cabin with wildfire safety in mind. Select materials and plants that can help contain fire rather than fuel it. Use fire resistant or non-combustible materials on the roof and exterior structure of the dwelling. Or treat wood or combustible material used in roofs, siding, decking or trim with UL-approved fire-retardant chemicals. Plant fire-resistant shrubs and trees. For example, hardwood trees are less flammable than pine, evergreen, eucalyptus or fir trees.

Create a 30-to 100-foot safety zone around your cabin.

Within this area, you can take steps to reduce potential exposure to flames and radiant heat. Homes built in pine forests should have a minimum safety zone of 100 feet. If your home sits on a steep slope, standard protective measures may not suffice. Contact your local fire department or forestry office for additional information.

Rake leaves, dead limbs and twigs. Clear all flammable vegetation.

Remove leaves and rubbish from under structures.

Thin a 15-foot space between tree crowns, and remove limbs within 15 feet of the ground.

Remove dead branches that extend over the roof.

Prune tree branches and shrubs within 15 feet of a stovepipe or chimney outlet.

Ask the power company to clear branches from powerlines.

Remove vines from the walls of the home.

Trim grass and other vegetation regularly.

Clear a 10-foot area around propane tanks and the barbecue. Place a screen over the grill - use non-flammable material with mesh no coarser than one-quarter inch.

When using a fire-pit.... clear at least a 30-foot area down to mineral-soil and make sure that you have a clear area above with no tree branches close.

Always be aware of winds and fire size when burning in a fire-pit.

Regularly dispose of newspapers and rubbish at an approved site. Follow local burning regulations.

Place stove, fireplace and grill ashes in a metal bucket, soak in water for two days, then bury the cold ashes in mineral soil.

Store gasoline, oily rags and other flammable materials in approved safety cans. Place cans in a safe location away from the base of buildings.

Stack firewood at least 100 feet away and uphill from your cabin.

Clear combustible material within 20 feet. Use only UL-approved woodburning devices.

Identify and maintain an adequate outside water source such as a small pond, sistern, well, swimming pool or hydrant.

Have a garden hose that is long enough to reach any area of the cabin and other structures on the property.

When possible, install freeze-proof exterior water outlets on at least two sides of the cabin and near other structures on the property. Install additional outlets at least 50 feet from the cabin.

Consider obtaining a portable gasoline powered pump in case electrical power is cutoff and you need to pump water.

When Wildfire Threatens ....

If you are warned that a wildfire is threatening your area, listen to your battery-operated radio for reports and evacuation information. Follow the instructions of local officials.

If aware of neighbors at Lava Ranch Property, .... and it is safe to do so, contact and inform them of the pending problem, then return to your property to further your preparations.

Park your car in an open space facing the direction of escape. Shut doors and roll up windows. Leave the key in the ignition. Close windows and doors, but leave them unlocked.

Confine pets to one room. Make plans to care for your pets in case you must evacuate.

Arrange temporary housing at a friend or relative's home outside the threatened area.

If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.... Do so calmly.

Never park your vehicle in the roadway, and Always leave the keys in the ignition in case you are gone and it needs to be moved.

Never attempt to fight the fire after the Emergency Responders arrive unless you are well trained and have the proper equipment. You will be better served being with your family at the pre-arranged safe place.

Wear protective clothing - sturdy shoes, cotton or woolen clothing, long pants, long-sleeved shirt, gloves and a handkerchief to protect your face.

Take your Disaster Supplies Kit.

Lock your Cabin ....

Tell someone when you left and where you are going. (Leave a note on the door).

Choose a route away from fire hazards. Watch for changes in the speed and direction of fire and smoke. Be aware of Emergency Responder traffic.

If you're sure you have time, take steps to protect your home:

Inside: ....

Close windows, vents, doors, venetian blinds or non-combustible window coverings and heavy drapes. Remove lightweight curtains.

Turn off pilot lights.

Open fireplace damper. Close fireplace screens.

Move flammable furniture into the center of the home away from windows and sliding-glass doors.

If you have electricity,...Turn on a light in each room to increase the visibility of your home in heavy smoke.

Outside: ....

Seal attic and ground vents with pre-cut plywood or commercial seals.

Turn off propane tanks.

Place combustible patio furniture inside.

Connect the garden hose to outside taps or other water supply.

Set up the portable gasoline-powered pump.

Place lawn sprinklers on the roof and near above-ground fuel tanks. Wet the roof.

Wet or remove shrubs within 15 feet of the home.

Gather fire tools.

When wildfire threatens, you won't have time to search for supplies.!!!

Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit with items you may need if advised to evacuate, Store these supplies in sturdy, easy-to-carry containers such as backpacks, dufflebags or trash containers.

Include: ....

A three-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and food that won't spoil.

One change of clothing and foot-wear per person and one blanket or sleeping bag per person.

A first aid kit that includes your family's prescription medications.

Emergency tools including a battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries.

An extra set of car keys and a credit card, cash or traveler's checks.

Sanitation supplies.

Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members.

An extra pair of eyeglasses.

Keep important family documents in a waterproof container. Assemble a smaller version of your kit to keep in the trunk of your car.

Talk to me about ANY concerns....


Val Larsen
Lava Ranch Security

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