PREPARING FOR NASSAU COUNTY WILDFIRES
You have undoubtedly heard about recent wildfires in our area. Residents and firefighters in Florida must be vigilant year-round for potential wildfires. Though, there is no particular wildfire “season” in Florida, there are conditions that make forested areas more susceptible to ignition. The Florida Forest Service, along with other local, state, and federal agencies, monitor weather, humidity, drought, wind, and natural fuel conditions in an effort to predict when fires are more likely to occur, as well as warn the public and the first responders.
Wildfires consume hundreds of homes in the United States every year. Studies show that 80 percent of these homes could have been saved if owners had followed a few fire-wise safety practices. Here are a few basic measures you can take to make you, your home, and property better prepared for an approaching wildfire:
- Create a defensible zone between your home and the surrounding area—that is, a zone fee of flammable plants and debris—of at least 30 feet around your home and other structures.
- Take steps to mitigate fuel around your property. This means you should remove dead branches, shrubbery, and other debris. Also, mow grass regularly and prune tree limbs to a height of 10 to 15 feet from ground level. Otherwise, lower limbs draped with vines and debris could act as “ladder fuel” by igniting and allowing fire to reach your roof and soffits. Finally, remove accumulated leaves from your roof and gutter.
- Pay particular attention to the roof, eaves, vents, walls, decks, windows, and doors.
Other Things You Can Do to Prepare for Wildfires:
- Prepare your family by creating a Family Disaster Plan
- Train your family how to use a fire extinguisher and keep them on hand.
Know where all home utility shut-offs are located.
- Plan for evacuations via several different routes. Designate a meeting location for family members. Know points of contact. Keep a list of phone numbers.
- Assemble an emergency supply kit that you can “grab and go”.
- Stay well informed about the progress of any wildfire, and comply with directions from local officials.
Know where you’re going to go and the whereabouts of all family members! Stay safe.
If your property is affected by a wildfire, call SERVPRO of Fernandina Beach/Yulee/North Jacksonville at 904-729-2401. We will help you through this difficult time and get you back to normal. Here are some additional fire damage tips outlining what you should and should not do before we arrive.