If you're a weather bug, you know a lot is happening across the United States. Summertime in the United States is the season when we see the most weather disasters: "hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, floods, and fires." With today's meteorological technology, we can all stay alert to a natural disaster threat. It is vital to prepare, be aware of alerts, and be ready to evacuate when necessary.
The Season for Wildfires is Getting Longer
Unfortunately, the United States is experiencing an increase in the "number, severity, and overall size of wildfires." The reason why wildfires are becoming a year-round threat is partly due to "winter snows are melting earlier and rain is coming later in the fall." While most wildfires were once a "four-month" duration, we are now seeing the wildfires threaten our lands from "six to eight months" of the year. It doesn't seem possible, but "fires in the winter months are becoming part of the norm."
The Current Wildfire Threats in the United States
While we're seeing summer floods devastating towns, tornadoes ripping across the Midwest, and tropical storms threatening our coastal and inner states, there are twenty-one (21) states with active wildfires. While "two (2)" fires are in Texas, Washington State has "108 "raging fires, with Montana in a close second with "107." Even Florida, where we see frequent rain on the radar, is experiencing wildfires.
The United States is not the only country fighting back wildfires. "Countries across the northern hemisphere this summer are experiencing the worst wildfires in years of recorded history, with large swaths of land and entire towns in Europe, North America, and Russia consumed by flames since the start of July." If we could only take all the rains from the tropical systems, and direct them towards the areas that need them.
Be Prepared for the Threat of a Wildfire
As people in the Gulf Coast region prepare for hurricanes every year, preparation is also vital for people living in those states where wildfires are frequent disasters. Here is where being ready for "Wildfires" is a great place to start.
- Make sure you have a couple of ways to get warnings and alerts, and you recognize their significance.
- The FEMA App delivers vital information from the National Weather Service.
- Follow your local Emergency Alert System.
- "Make an emergency plan," and make sure everyone in your business or household understands it.
- Keep your important documents readily available. Password-protected digital files are perfect for packing.
- There are multiple ways to "strengthen your home," especially with a landscaping layout, and keeping "leaves, debris or flammable materials for at least 30 feet from your home."
- Learn and familiarize yourself with your evacuation route(s).
- Putting together a ditch bag (or bags) with necessary supplies will help alleviate added fear and frustration. Some of the most important supplies to include in your ditch bag are "medication, disinfectant supplies, masks, pet supplies, etc. The more you "Prepare for Wildfire - Pack a To-Go Bag," the better you will be able to deal with the frustrations from a wildfire's aftermath.
- Staying safe is important. When it's time to evacuate, be ready to go. Since we must all be prepared to travel in our time of COVID-19, we should have masks, especially one that is best for protecting against smoke inhalation.
The Recommended Masks for the Best Protection from Wildfires
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, the best way to "protect your lungs from wildfire smoke and ash" is by using the N95 or P100 masks. The difference between the two masks is the N95 is not oil resistant, and P100 is oil proof.
Whether you want to prepare your ditch bag to be ready for evacuation from a wildfire or you want to have an emergency kit for a traveling vacation, Protect Life has everything you need. From N95 masks to complete first aid survival kits, we're here to get you everything you need for an emergency.