During National Preparedness Month in September, the City of Carlsbad will launch a campaign focused on wildfire prevention and new emergency preparedness guidelines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to city Assistant Director of Emergency Services David Harrison, recent California wildfires, combined with the ongoing COVID public health emergency, have underscored the importance of both emergency preparedness and wildfire prevention.
“Wildfires are a concern in Carlsbad given the amount of natural open spaces spread throughout the city, our dry climate and Santa Ana winds that are common in the fall,” said Harrison. “We always want our community to be prepared, but prevention is the ultimate goal, now more than ever.”
According to the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, over 50% of wildfires are started by the general public.
Many wildfires can be prevented or their spread limited by taking a few simple precautions:
Monitor the weather report for red flag warnings and dry, windy conditions
During these weather condition, DO NOT do any of the following things that could cause a spark or spontaneous fire to break out:
o Using power lawn mowers, edging equipment, chain saws and leaf blowers
o Setting a piece of hot gardening equipment in the brush
o Outdoor electrical work
o Using outdoor grinding or cutting tools/saws
o Outdoor grilling / barbecuing/ cooking
o Pulling a car over on an unpaved shoulder (unless an emergency)
o Parking a car on or near landscaping that could be dry and ignite
o Driving vehicles off road
o Use chains or trailer hitches that could touch the road and cause a spark
Keep landscaping well maintained, removing dry brush. Now is the time to ensure defensible space.
Special COVID preparedness tips
In addition to creating a family emergency plan and having basic supplies on hand in case of an emergency, be prepared to wait longer at temporary evacuation points. Shelters must take special precautions to reduce COVID-19 spread and alternatives to traditional shelters may be needed. Residents should check with their homeowner or renters insurance to confirm “loss of use coverage” in case of immediate displacement.
Ensure COVID-19 supplies (masks/sanitizer/disinfectant wipes) are in your emergency kit.
Prepare for longer stays at temporary evacuation points by bringing:
o Folding chairs
o Packaged foods
o Beach umbrella or tent
o Games for kids
o Pet supplies
o Laptop, MIFI, battery for remote telework
Find out more information about how to be prepared for an emergency on the city’s website.