Residents living in high-risk wildfire areas who want to take action steps to increase their safety but are unsure about how to start can now find the information, and the inspiration, they need to organize and accomplish wildfire risk reduction projects in their community. Martinez Area CERT is teaming up with the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (CCCFPD), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and State Farm® for the fifth annual Wildfire Community Preparedness Day event on May 5, 2018, which helps communities prepare for and work together to reduce their risk of wildfire damage.
Preparedness Day is a call to action that gives people of all ages a chance to plan and participate in a risk reduction or wildfire preparedness activity that makes their community a safer place to live.
“With the climate change that we’re experiencing and the unpredictability of weather events, we have to be extra diligent in our the care of our community, especially involving Wildland fires, said Brian Lindblom, Director of Martinez Area CERT. “That’s why we’re involved in this pilot project with CCCFPD and working with these groups to prepare our community and practice awareness of Wildland safety.”
The Contra Costa County Fire Prevention District will be hosting a weed/vegetation abatement training during Preparedness Day to promote wildfire awareness and safety. Following this training, CERT volunteers and local residents will periodically walk the high risk neighborhoods from public access areas. If weed and brush problems are observed, CERT will make a referral for CCCFPD to follow up with the property owner.
Through these educational, individual and group activities, residents or the greater Martinez area can learn more about the importance of wildfire preparedness and planning, and the power of prevention.
Projects undertaken on Preparedness Day can range from a short time commitment up to an entire fire season and can be undertaken by individuals or groups. Below are actions all businesses and residents can take to reduce the risk of home and property becoming fuel for a wildfire:
- Rake and remove pine needles and dry leaves within a minimum of 3 to 5 feet of a building’s foundation. As time permits, continue up to a 30-foot distance around the home. Dispose of collected debris in appropriate trash receptacles.
- Collect downed tree limbs and broken branches and take them to a disposal site.
- Help an elderly relative or neighbor enter emergency numbers and the names of close relatives into their cell phones; and in large font post their phone number and street address above their landline so it can easily be seen when providing information to an emergency dispatcher.
Find additional project ideas and learn more about the national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day event on May 5th by visiting www.wildfireprepday.org. Here’s the Martinez CERT press release on this activity.