It’s wildfire season in El Dorado Hills. As the realities of climate change intensify, you can’t always assume your home is outside of the wildfire zone, even if you are in a city or suburban location or in any area that has never been hit by fires before. After what we saw in Santa Rosa, CA and Oregon last year, all bets are off. It’s best to be ready. Are you and your family prepared?
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Gather an Emergency Kit
Yes, everybody says they’ve been planning to get a kit together, but now it’s time to do it. Pack your kit with blankets, rain gear, plenty of water, and convenient backpack food such as Cliff Bars and nuts. In California, it’s a good idea to have an earthquake emergency kit ready anyway and this can double as a wildfire kit. The San Francisco Chronicle has some great tips on what to pack.
Preparing Your Property
Create a buffer zone around your house. This involves clearing out any dead trees and brush material, maintaining a decent space between the home and the forest.
“People must do their part and create a space around their homes where fire can be better controlled as it approaches,” Fire Chief Kelly Keenan tells Mountain Democrat.
Install a Fire Resistant Insulated Garage Door
It’s also a good idea to install a new fire resistant insulated garage door. Talk to your garage door service company about what’s available and what they’d recommend.
Do You Have Battery Backup?
The wildfires a couple of years ago inspired some interesting legislation: All new garage doors and garage door openers installed after 2019 must have battery backup. The move was designed to ensure homeowners have access to their garage doors during a natural disaster. It was inspired by a California congressman whose neighbors had trouble evacuating their homes because of a power outage during the emergency.
But whether or not your garage door opener is new, battery backup is still a good idea. Even outside of an urgent emergency, battery backup ensures you conveniently have access to your garage door opener, even in a standard power outage like after a thunderstorm. The good news is you can purchase battery backup kits to be installed in any existing garage door opener. It’s a good idea for convenience as well as the safety of your family.
In an Emergency
If you have time, shut off all gas to your home. Unplug your garage door opener. Wet down the roof and any plants around your home. Shut off and cover any possible entryways to your home, including windows, vents, and doors.