SACRAMENTO–The California Fire Foundation, in partnership with Pacific Gas and Electric Company, has launched a statewide Wildfire Safety and Preparedness public education campaign to better inform residents on key steps and precautions to take in preparing for potential wildfires.
The campaign, with materials available in English and Spanish, is part of the Foundation’s “Firefighters on Your Side Program” which provides critical fire safety information, fire warden training, and public service announcements (PSAs) in multiple languages targeting underserved communities.
California is experiencing the impacts of climate change with drought, extreme weather variations, and increasingly dangerous wildfires plaguing our state on a regular basis. Over the past 12 months, California has witnessed three of the ten most destructive wildfires in history. The statewide campaign’s goal is to make sure residents are ready for the next wildfire. A major focus has been placed in reaching the underserved Latino communities in high-risk wildfire areas with in-language materials, ensuring our message of preparedness reaches as many people as possible.
The Wildfire Safety Preparedness Campaign has developed physical and downloadable information material on what families can do to prepare and also created public service announcement videos to walk through these important precautions.
Currently, the Foundation has partnered with community groups statewide to disseminate information material. CFF has also been working closely with major TV outlets in distributing the video public service announcements in English and Spanish across the state.
“Large, destructive and deadly wildfires caused by climate change have become the ‘new normal’ in California,” said Rick Martinez, retired Sacramento Metro Fire Department chief and a board member of the California Fire Foundation. “Wildfires can happen at any time, and we hope that our safety messages can help reduce the number of casualties and lives lost every year from wildfires. We cannot and will not have a repeat of 2018.”
Below are safety tips all families should observe throughout the year to be prepared for wildfires.
1. GET READY
a. Clear dry vegetation and tall grass at least 100 ft. around your home
b. Harden your home with fire-safe materials
c. Watch for Red Flag Alerts, fire weather bulletins (weather.gov)
d. Plan and practice at least two different evacuation routes
2. GET SET
a. Establish an “action plan” including critical phone numbers, meeting area
b. Prepare an Evacuation Supply Kit
ii. Copies of important documents
iv. First-aid kit
v. Extra phone chargers
vi. Verify insurance coverage
3. GO! Evacuation Tips
a. Leave lights on, turn off gas
b. Put emergency supply kit in vehicle
c. Evacuate early – don’t wait to be ordered
d. If trapped, call 9-1-1
e. If ordered to leave, don’t wait … JUST GO
4. EVACUATION CHECKLIST
a. Bring flammable items indoors
b. Turn off propane/gas
c. Close windows and doors (leave unlocked)
d. Emergency Supply Kit in vehicle
e. Locate pets
f. Check on neighbors
“PG&E is proud of our long-standing partnership with the California Fire Foundation, and remains committed to building more climate-resilient communities in the face of extreme weather impacts driven by climate change,” said Michael Lewis, Senior Vice President, Electric Operations for PG&E. “The Foundation is a critical partner in these efforts, particularly in educating our communities about wildfire prevention and providing direct support to firefighters.”
The California Fire Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization created by California Professional Firefighters, aids firefighters, their families and the communities they protect. Since 2011, the Foundation’s “Firefighters On Your Side” program has focused fire-safety and disaster preparedness messages into underserved communities up and down the state of California.
PG&E provided funding for the public education campaign in 2018 in support of PG&E’s Respond, Rebuild and Resilience” program which includes practicing and improving its disaster preparedness and response, investing in more resilient gas and electric systems and leading the way on reducing greenhouse gas emissions as California works toward a clean, sustainable energy future.
More information about the program and to download material: cafirefoundation.org/prepareforwildfire