As we are seeing all too clearly this Spring, wild fires are a very real risk for Texas Homeowners. More than 840 fires have consumed almost 1.5 million acres just this year (this and other facts to follow throughout this post are provided by the incredible team at the Texas Forest Service).
Fortunately, steps can be taken to prevent and/or limit losses. Property owners taking proactive actions combined with a coordinated state response have saved more than 5,600 structures. Unfortunately another 400 dwellings were not able to be saved, and lives were lost.
If your home is in any area affected by these wild fires, we strongly encourage you to educate yourself on the important steps you can take to protect yourself and your property.
There are many things you can do, but the Top 3 things to do to protect yourself and your property are:
- Prepare your property. Keep the area around your house clear of combustible materials, keep your lawn well mowed and shrubs and trees pruned and away from your home.
- Prepare your family. Develop and agree on an evacuation plan, including what you’ll do if you’re separated. Have medicines, important documents and irreplaceable memorabilia easily accessible and ready to go if needed.
- Leave when it’s time. None of your property is worth the loss of your life. Many wild fire related deaths come from last-minute evacuations. If ordered, leave – don’t delay!
Obviously this is only scratching the surface of what you should know if you’re in an affected area. Use the resources available from the Texas Forest Service, Firewise and the American Red Cross, among others.
And to all the brave firefighters working to save people’s lives and property across Texas – you have our sincere gratitude.