Monitor conditions and follow advice of local authorities. If ordered to evacuate, do so immediately and follow FEMA recommendations.
If you anticipate evacuation orders due to wildfire, there are several things you can do to prepare your home before you leave.
1. Shut off gas supply to your home or propane tank(s)
It’s standard practice by emergency response to shut off the gas supply to prevent feeding a fire. Doing so yourself reduces risks to your home or structure.
- Turn the handwheel clockwise to close any valves.
- Close all appliance valves and gas valves inside the house or structure.
- Do not move propane cylinders anywhere near a house or structure.
2. Close all doors and windows
Closing doors and windows can prevent embers from entering the house or structure and igniting combustible materials, burning it down from the inside out.
3. Turn off air conditioning
This will prevent outside smoke from entering the home and causing preventable damage.
If time allows, consider these additional steps.
4. Remove debris from your roof and gutters
5. Double-check your home ignition zone
- Clear dead plants, weeds, grass or any other combustible materials on and under your deck, and within 5 feet of your home.
- Move combustible items on your deck, such as toys and patio furniture cushions, into your home.
- Move propane tanks used with barbecue grills away from home. If you are evacuating, place propane tank at curb. Remove weeds and other debris from area around large stationary propane tanks (125 gallons water capacity or more) so there is no combustible material near tank.
- If you have a combustible fence that attaches to your home, secure gate in an open position. Also clear vegetation and debris under and within 1 foot of fence line in the area within 5 feet of your home.
Learn more about maintaining defensible space.
6. Consider vents
- If you have screens covering vents in your attic or crawl space, remove any debris buildup. If you don’t have screens, cover vents with duct tape or metal to block embers from entering.
- Move combustible materials as far away as possible from vents.
- Cover dryer vents and wall-mounted make-up air openings for furnaces with a plywood cover, metal tape, or duct tape.
7. Leave a ladder out if you have one
Place a ladder near or against your home to allow firefighters quick access to your roof if needed.