Ready! Set! Go! What a Person Needs to Do in a Wildfire

The day after the flames were put out along Palisades Drive (October 22), only one lane of traffic was open because firefighting operations continued. Residents should be aware of fire evacuation routes. What if Palisades Drive is closed, what do Highlands residents do?

A reader asked if Circling the News would run the L.A. Fire Department’s READY!SET!GO! protocol, especially given the near-disastrous Palisades Fire this week.

All Palisades residents should be aware of this program since we live near the wildland-urban interface and brush fires are always a possibility.

Below is a checklist reminder for what you need to do.

READY!means creating a defensible space around your home and includes:

1)  Clear all brush a minimum of 100 feet from your home.

2)  Cut tree limbs hanging over your house.

3)  Clean gutters of leaves, pine needles and other debris (they can catch fire).

4)  Make sure ornamental shrubbery is set back from your house.

(LAFD notes that one of the most common dangers in wildfires is free-falling embers landing in these places and igniting your home.)

5)  Replace shake-shingle roofs. One resident said it wouldn’t increase the value of her home to do that—but the alternative is no home to sell.

6)  Assemble emergency supplies and a to-go bag.

SET! If a wildfire threatens your neighborhood:

1)  Back your vehicle into the driveway with the hood facing the street.

2)  Roll up windows and load your vehicle.

3)  Remove flammable materials from around your house, which could include patio furniture, firewood, decorations or anything that can catch fire.

GO! Leave your Home:

In the past, LAFD has suggested residents should wait for evacuation instructions. New information suggests not to wait until you are told to leave. Go early! By leaving you give firefighters the best chance to protect property.

Mandatory evacuations are that. Please leave. By staying you put yourself and firefighters in danger. According to LAFD, “Many fatalities that have occurred in wildfires around the world are the result of people leaving homes too late.”


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