What You Should Do in the Case of a Wildfire
Suggestions for Dealing With a Wildfire
You need to take action before a wildfire strikes to ensure the safety of your family and your home:
As for Any Disaster, Have a Plan & Preparedness Kit Ready for Your Family
We recommend creating a family emergency plan and a 72 hour kit.
Contact Jackson Hole Fire/Ems to Get a Free Evaluation of Your Wildfire Risk
Jackson Hole Fire/EMS offers this as a free service to help ensure a more disaster-resistant Teton County. They will come down and see what your wildfire risks are, then provide you with strategies to lower that risk. For more information call 307-733-4732 to set up an appointment.
Implement Wildfire Mitigation Strategies
Follow through on the strategies suggested by Jackson Hole Fire/EMS when they did their evaluation of your home. FEMA has a thorough list of actions that you can take to mitigate your wildfire hazard. Firewise is another resource which offers tips and strategies for reducing your wildfire risk and protecting your home.
Stay Tuned to Eas Broadcasts for Instruction Before, During, & Following the Disaster
Listen to your NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio or another Emergency Alert System (EAS) broadcaster for instructions from emergency services before, during, and following a disaster.
Stay Informed of Local Wildfire Situations
Listen to local radio and watch local television for information on fires nearby. You can begin preparing by implementing your fire mitigation strategies before you are given notice of a potential evacuation. A great internet resource for detailed wildfire information across the country is InciWeb. This is an inter-agency internet database of significant incidents, most of which are wildfires. It will give you information on total acreage consumed, percent containment, and any press releases issued for a fire.
If You Are Given Notice of Potential Evacuation, Begin Preparing Immediately
If you are told you may need to evacuate, act as if it is going to happen. The next notice may be ordering you to leave immediately, so you want to take action before that. Check with FEMA on what to do during a potential wildfire evacuation.
Unless specifically instructed to do so by authorities, do not leave sprinklers or any other water running on your property. This reduces the water pressure, and forces firefighters to get dangerously close to the fire line. If deemed necessary, firefighters will set up special sprinkler systems designed for this purpose.
If Told to Evacuate, Do So Immediately
When you are given an evacuation order, it is for the protection of human life. Follow the directions given to you as far as routes to take because some roads may be closed due to fire apparatus operations, fallen trees, heavy smoke, or fire.
Do not stay behind and try to defend your home. If you carried out your mitigation plan ahead of time and followed the potential evacuation instructions, you have done everything that you could. Firefighters will defend these properly prepared homes first because they have the best chances of surviving. You and your garden hose are no match for a wildfire, so keep yourself safe and evacuate with your family.
FEMA has a website that covers all aspects of wildfire preparation. For quick reference, you can print out these pamphlets on wildfire preparedness: