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Be Prepared for Wild Land Fires

Tom May warns his East Lake community about the dangers of the droughts in 2001 and how his neighbors can prepare in the case that a natural disaster, such as a wild fire, occurs.

 
PRLog - Aug. 17, 2012 - PINELLAS PARK, Fla. -- By Tom May, District Fire Chief, East Lake Fire Rescue

Tom May East Lake - We are in a 2 year (so far) drought. What does that mean besides water restrictions? It means that the potential for brush/forest (wildland) fires is very high. As of this writing Fire Index is very close to the top of the scale. We are now entering the “rainy” season and so the possibility of lightning strikes thanks increases that could start a wildland fire.
   If you live in and near an area that is back by the “Preserve” for other areas of words, the brush (the Urban Interface) you should know what to expect if a wildland fire starts and threatens your home. The following is a list of recommendations for you to do before a fire starts, and what to do if you and your family are ordered to evacuate because of the imminent dangers of the fire impinging on your property.
   Everyone living in a wooded area should have an evacuation plan. It should be discussed all members of your family, parts of it should be reversed before a fire starts. Information from District Chief Tom May’s National Fire Academy's paper on “Wildland Urban Interface Fires” includes advice for an evacuation plan which shows it is more than just getting out of the house.
It includes:
•   An escape route
•   A family meeting place (shopping center, church, school, etc.)
•   Instructions for children
•   Steps to take to make your house a fire as possible
•   Plans for a fast getaway and a place to go to outside the fire danger area
•   Provisions for pets
   Generally, a family force by a wildland fire to evacuate will do so together, so the escape route will be the same for all. It is important to establish a meeting place in case all family members are not home when evacuation is ordered. Children are home alone should have firm instructions to leave the home at the first draft of fire danger. They should report to a prearranged meeting place and stayed there until they hear from you.
   Depending on how much time you have before an approaching wildland fire could reach your home, here are some things you can do to help fireproof your home, ensure fast getaways and take care of your pets.

   In the event of a fire, or when emergency equipment is needed, valuable time can be lost if rescue personnel have to take time searching your home. When firefighters arrive, it is wise to the the task of protecting your home to professionals. A quick reading about such things as the location of water supplies, buried utility lines, septic tanks, and any passengers materials you have stored will be welcomed. But after the briefing, the best way to assist firefighters is to retreat to a safe place while they concentrate on protecting your home and property without having to protect also.
   If you live in an urban interface and have any questions about how to best protect property, call your local fire department for additional advice you seek the advice from Tom May, District Fire Chief East Lake Fire Rescue, 727-784-8668.

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Source:East Lake Neighborhood News and Lifestyles
Location:Pinellas Park - Florida - United States
Industry:Fire Department, Environment
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