AUSTIN, Texas -- With colder weather and the holidays fast approaching, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is urging wildfire survivors living in temporary manufactured homes to stay safe while they stay warm.
FEMA provides every manufactured housing resident with instructions on living safely in FEMA housing. However, awareness and prevention will provide the best defense against fires.
An important safety precaution residents can take when it comes to heating their mobile homes is to use the built-in heater — not kerosene heaters, electric space heaters, or kitchen stoves or ovens.
"We want everyone to have a safe holiday season,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Kevin L. Hannes of FEMA. "It’s important that Texans listen to the experts and take every precaution to protect themselves and their families.”
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), a FEMA sister agency within the Department of Homeland Security, offers the top 10 tips that are essential to fire prevention for residents of manufactured homes. The tips can also help to prevent fires in all types of homes.
- Shut off all appliances before leaving home;
- Never overload outlets, extension cords or electrical circuits;
- Keep flammable materials away from the stove top or heater;
- Learn to use the unit’s fire extinguisher and know where it is stored;
- Have an emergency exit plan and practice the escape routes with your family;
- Do not store gasoline or other flammable liquids in or under the home;
- Do not store gasoline-powered equipment in the home;
- Never leave a candle burning unattended in the home;
- Never smoke in bed, and;
- Always ensure the home’s smoke alarms are working.
Residents of FEMA manufactured homes are provided the contact number for maintenance or repairs when they are leased into the unit. Occupants with questions about their homes should call the maintenance number posted in the unit. Occupants who cannot locate the number may call the FEMA helpline at 1-800-621- 3362, or TTY 1-800-462-7585.
Texans affected by the wildfires can apply for federal disaster assistance through Dec. 8.
Texas homeowners, renters, and business owners can register online or check on the status of an earlier registration at www.disasterassistance.gov, via web-enabled phone at m.fema.gov, or by telephone via FEMA’s toll-free numbers: 1-800-621-3362 or TTY 1-800-462-7585. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services can call 1-800-621-3362. Assistants are available by phone from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.