On March 27 at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, the Nevada Network of Fire Adapted Communities, aka The Network, will host their third annual conference. The Network is an organization dedicated to helping Nevada communities reduce their wildfire threat. They have selected “safe and effective evacuation” as this year’s conference theme. This conference targets residents of Nevada’s wildfire-prone communities, fire service representatives and other stakeholders in Nevada’s wildland-urban interface fire issue.
The best advice evacuation expert and North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Assistant Fire Marshal Mark Regan has for a homeowner regarding evacuation during wildfire is this: “Be prepared and do not hesitate.”
Regan said many homeowners linger at their homes after being told to evacuate. People who linger can jeopardize their lives and make things more difficult for emergency responders.
To increase your ability to evacuate immediately when asked, prepare yourself and your family well before a wildfire occurs, and anticipate your needs when you do have to evacuate. Wildfire… Prepare – Anticipate – Evacuate!
Proper advanced evacuation preparation includes:
- Meet with household members and develop a Family Emergency Plan.
- Assemble a family to-go bag, pet to-go bag and disaster supply kit.
- Register with your local emergency notification system if this service is available in your area.
- Attend an evacuation drill and practice two of the escape routes out of the community.
- Designate a safe meeting place and contact person for you and your family members.
- Arrange for transportation out of the area if you do not drive.
- Inventory home contents, videotape/photograph property and place in the to-go bag or use a phone app such as My Home Scr.APP.book.
- Familiarize yourself about animal/livestock evacuation recommendations.
- Prepare “Evacuated” and “Water Source” signage.
- Review additional evacuation advice on the LivingWithFire website.
Some of the topics to be addressed at the conference include:
- Description of what evacuation conditions could be like (e.g., dark, smoky, windy, no power, poor water pressure, etc.).
- A homeowner’s experience and advice as a result of the recent Little Valley Fire.
- Proper preparation and evacuation of your family.
- Community-level evacuation.
- Conducting a community evacuation drill.
- Safe evacuation of pets and livestock.
- Post-fire issues.
The concluding activity of the conference will be a discussion on the future of The Network and its administration by the Nevada Division of Forestry.
There is no cost to attend the conference, and you do not have to be a member of The Network to attend. For more information about The Network or to register for the conference, visit www.LivingWithFire.info/the-network.
To learn more about reducing your home’s wildfire threat, attend University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s “Be Ember Aware” talk, 6-8 p.m., Feb. 28 at Bartley Ranch Regional Park in Reno. The presentation will explore the ember threat to homes during wildfire, defensible space and good plant choices for high fire-hazard areas. The class, part of the Gardening in Nevada series, is free. For more information visit www.growyourownnevada.com.
Ed Smith is a natural resource specialist with University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. For information about gardening and landscaping, contact a master gardener at 775-336-0265 or firstname.lastname@example.org.