How To Prepare For and Recover From a Wildfire Disaster

Many communities live under a high risk of wildfire, especially during hot months or in areas with drought conditions. Wildfires spread quickly, are difficult to contain, and can start at any hour, posing an immediate threat to anyone living near an active wildfire.

The best way to stay safe during a wildfire is to prepare an evacuation plan ahead of time and store emergency supplies so you can quickly take the right course of action, following guidance from local authorities. Roads will become filled with cars and traffic will be heavy—especially if there are limited roads or paths become blocked by the fire—and you need to act quickly and calmly to protect yourself and your neighbors.

After The Fire Is Over, Deadly Hazards Remain

The lasting threats to communities occur during the cleanup and recovery phase when cleanup, demolition, and construction workers take on hazardous tasks, and families begin returning to their homes. If they are lucky enough to have their home intact, hidden hazards may exist within their homes' walls from the impact of the toxic smoke.

Thousands of people in multiple states are impacted directly and indirectly by wildfires, forest fires, brush fires, and now unprecedented urban wildfires that engulf entire neighborhoods. Even those hundreds of miles away from a burn zone may be at risk as equipment and materials in these environments are transported to other areas for service, repair, and decontamination.​

Residents returning home to pick up their lives must have their property tested and evaluated by a certified professional​ to ensure it is completely safe, through sampling and data interpretation, to begin recovery efforts.

To help you understand how to appropriately prepare for and respond in a wildfire disaster, see the below ‘Resources by Type’ for support documents, websites, and other expert resources.