Santa Barbara Wildfire Home Evacuation Tips


Santa Barbara Wildfire Home Evacuation Tips

I’m Ed Smith, a Santa Barbara car accident lawyer. Fire season in California can turn into a harrowing experience when a family has to pack up and leave the area. Knowing what to do and how to stay safe is important and could potentially save your life.

Emergency Supply Kit

Putting together an emergency supply kit before it may be needed during a Santa Barbara wildfire is a good start.

  • Include three days of non-perishable goods, such as canned goods, cereals or unsalted crackers. Don’t take along foods that might make you thirsty. Remember those with special diets and make accommodations for them.
  • If you are packing cans other than the pop open variety, remember to bring along a can opener, and remember to bring paper plates, cups, and plastic eating utensils.
  • Allow one gallon of water for each person per day.
  • Bring a battery-operated radio with a hand crank in case the batteries die. Ensure that it has the ability to get weather reports from NOAA. Don’t forget to pack extra batteries.
  • Bring along a first aid kit.
  • Bring wool blankets in case you get trapped. You can use them to wet down and cover yourself.
  • Sanitation supplies will be necessary such as garbage bags, twist ties, and moist towelettes.
  • Pack food and water bowls, dog or cat food and extra water for your pets. Don’t forget leashes or carriers.
  • GPS may be difficult to use, so pick up a local map.
  • Remember to bring a cell phone charger.

Preparing Before You Leave Home

It is a good idea to have a pre-evacuation checklist. This is useful if time allows, and you have not been told to evacuate immediately. Some points are:

  • Take down drapes and shades from your windows. Keep metal shutters closed.
  • Shut your doors and windows but leave them unlocked.
  • If your furniture is flammable, put it in the room’s center.
  • Shut off the gas supply to the house at the main meter. Turn off pilot lights.
  • Keep lights in the house as well as outdoor lights on when you leave. It will help firefighters find the house when smokey conditions exist.
  • Turn off your air conditioner.
  • Take flammable outside furniture and put it indoors in the center of a room.
  • Move your propane barbecue a distance from the house, and shut off the propane tanks.
  • Fill buckets with water, and connect the hose to the spigot so firefighters can use them.
  • Get the car ready to leave, and park it close to the house. Keep your keys on you.
  • Put a ladder near the house for firefighters.
  • Seal up ground and attic vents.

It is always a good idea to inspect your property to see if the fire has encroached on it. Contact neighbors to see if they have followed the preparation steps. If you have personal pets, make sure they too are ready to leave at a moment’s notice. Farm animals might benefit from early evacuation.

Avoiding Car Accidents on the Road

If you need to evacuate or are ordered to evacuate due to a Santa Barbara wildfire, exercise caution to protect yourself and your family. There may be smoke in the air that obscures vision, and other drivers may be panicky. Fires not only can result in car crashes but increase the danger of burn injuries if a vehicle becomes involved in an accident.

  • Drive slowly and cautiously, keeping a safe distance between your vehicle and the one up ahead.
  • Keep an eye out for emergency personnel near or in the road such as firefighters and forestry service personnel.
  • Watch for fire trucks or heavy equipment along the roads or roadsides. This includes 4-wheel drive vehicles.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Keep windows and doors closed.
  • Turn off the air conditioning in the car and close all the vents.

Attorney Ed Smith

Santa Barbara Car Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Santa Barbara car accident lawyer. Experiencing evacuation during a fire is terrifying. Being involved in a car accident during your evacuation because of someone else’s negligence only compounds your stress and may cause injuries to yourself or your loved ones. If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, call Ed Smith at (805) 372-0200 or (800) 404-5400 for prompt assistance. I can offer you friendly advice and it is free.

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