Denver, CO -- As Colorado faces the worst wildfire season in its history, thousands of state residents have had to evacuate their homes. With dry conditions still in place, the threat of additional fires persists, and because of groundcover loss, there is an increased threat of flash flooding in fire-damaged areas. Either event could lead to a new round of evacuations and homeowners should be prepared to leave quickly.
While it is never comfortable to leave home during times of emergency, there are some things residents can do to increase their piece of mind when evacuating. Some steps can be undertaken long before an evacuation. Homeowners should clear any flammable materials from around the home and also place a lawn sprinkler on the roof. It can be turned on when evacuating, which will wet the roof to make it more fire resistant.
Another important step to take is preparing an evacuation kit. Items should be put in a large container that can be quickly loaded into a vehicle for departure. The items also make up the bulk of a typical winter survival kit. They include:
- Battery-powered radio
- First Aid Kit
- Water (1 gallon/person)
- Change of clothing
- Sleeping bags and pillows
- Checkbook, cash, credit cards
It is also prudent to have important personal documents quickly available to evacuate. Should the home suffer damage, having these on hand can speed recovery. Such documents include:
- Driver's license or other identification
- Birth and Marriage Certificates
- Social Security Card
- Insurance policies
- Tax records
- Proof of residence (deed or lease)
- Stocks and Bonds
If there is time before an evacuation, whether for fire or flooding, homeowners should turn off utilities such as electricity and propane.