By Bill Miranda
Santa Clarita City Mayor
This summer, Santa Clarita is experiencing one of the driest and most fire-prone seasons on record, with temperatures soaring and vegetation withered and brown on our hillsides. With these dangerous conditions, resident safety is our top priority, so we want everyone to be prepared in the event of a wildfire.
Being proactive is one of the most important aspects of wildfire safety. Making sure our homes and families are ready for an evacuation is vital to the safety of lives and property. You can help ensure the safety of your home by starting outside. Regularly maintain your property and remove any dead leaves, dry brush or vegetation in your backyard or within 30 feet of your house. This will help create a defensible barrier between your home and a possible wildfire. Not only will this help keep your home safe, but it allows our first responders enough space to protect your property.
Preparing inside of your home is also crucial for wildfire safety. Maintaining smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors can be critical during a fire or emergency. Remember to keep a smoke detector in each room or zone of your house and replace the batteries twice a year. During a wildfire, the heat from the flames can actually cause windows to break before the house catches fire. By installing dual-paned windows with an exterior pane of tempered glass, you can help reduce the chance of breakage during a fire and potentially save your home!
Once you have taken the time to assess prevention in and around your home, start creating a Ready! Set! Go! Plan. This procedure will help organize what you need during an evacuation. Start by having a list of important phone numbers so you can communicate to family members in the event of separation. Assemble an emergency supply kit that you can keep in your car and have a kit near an exit of your home in case of evacuations. Remember to bring insurance papers, prescriptions, important documents and photos in the event of an evacuation. And finally, have an emergency evacuation plan for your family! Designate a meeting location outside the fire or hazard area and have alternate travel routes to that location.
During an emergency, please remember to give as much space as possible to our first responders. Abiding by road closures or mandatory evacuation warnings will help keep you safe and give our firefighters and law enforcement the ability to protect your property. Also, don’t forget about your furry family members! As you create your Ready! Set! Go! Plan, make sure you are prepared to evacuate your pets, and have their food and other necessary supplies ready to go.
If you would like to learn more about the Ready! Set! Go! Plan or find more tips about wildfire safety, please go to fire.LACounty.gov/RSG. For emergency updates or to sign up for the City of Santa Clarita’s Nixle Alerts, go to santaclaritaemergency.com.