Wildfires are one of the most dangerous natural disasters that can happen to a community. They're unpredictable and can quickly spread out of control, leaving behind only ashes and destruction.
Fires also have the potential to take lives and destroy property. This blog post would give you ten tips on how to survive a wildfire so that you never have to worry about what it would be like if your home were in harm's way. The "rule of 3s" can be an effective way to save your life if you find yourself trapped by a natural disaster like a wildfire.
Have three possible escape routes planned out in advance, choose the best option for your situation and weigh the pros and cons instantaneously. Once you attempt option one, if it fails, seek out a second immediately.
Over at SurvivalBox, we put together a survival guide with tips to get out of a wildfire safe and sound. With the alarming rates of bushfires over the years, we thought it best to be prepared against this threat should an emergency arise.
1. Know the property's fire history
You need to understand how prone your home, neighborhood, or community is to fires if there has been one in the past. If it hasn't had a recent incident, this information will help know what precautions are necessary and what steps must be taken during emergencies like wildfires.
When a wildfire disaster comes through your area, you can always hope that people know what to do before they start throwing water. By learning about your surrounding, you are aware of past wildfire behaviors in a specific area.
2. Use the wind's direction as a guide for escape
If the wind is blowing from behind and towards you, run to your left. If the wind is blowing toward the fire, then run into it. Use the wind's directions as a guide for escaping wildfire. The wind's direction is something that can often be used to your advantage when you're trapped in a wildfire.
If the fire is blowing toward you, run with it and stay as close to its edge as possible without being consumed by flames. This technique has proven successful for many people over the years who were fortunate enough not to perish from smoke inhalation before they could escape.
3. Keep your clothes wet as much as possible
Keep your clothes wet as much as possible. Soaked clothing can help insulate you from the heat and carry away sweat and moisture that would otherwise build up on your skin, increasing body temperature, which can lead to dehydration or death during a wildfire. If you can, put on a wet coat and lie down in the back seat of your car. Cover your nose and mouth with a damp cloth so you can breathe.
Keep your clothes wet by using a garden hose to wet the front and back porch with water. Use towels to cover doorways, or better yet, close all doors and windows and blocks spaces under the doors.
4. Find a Non-flammable Secure Terrain
Find a non-flammable piece of terrain and stay there until the fire passes, or at least has moved on to another area with less fuel to consume. Non-flammable terrains or areas are those with no vegetation, and that is not near a creek or riverbed. Keep in mind that even though an area looks wet, it could still be burning at the ground level due to hot spots on the surface, stay there until the fire passes, or at least have moved on to another area with less fuel to consume.
5. Seek safety near or in water (the sea, a lake, or a river)
If wildfires break out in your area, find a water source by looking for lakes and rivers nearby. Those living at the coast or who have access should go to the shoreline as soon as possible to stay safe during a wildfire.
6. Seek refuge under what may seem like unlikely sources of protection
Usually, any objects with dense ground cover work well for this purpose- rocks must be avoided since they can heat up during fires until their surface temperature rises above 100 degrees Celsius, which would then cause burns.
7. Stay low to the ground, Avoid smoke
As the fire eats away at everything in its path, smoke fills the air and starts to climb. The higher it goes up into the sky, clinging onto every breathable molecule there is for dear life. But with a bit of ingenuity, you can take control of your surroundings by staying low to ground level where all that acrid blackness doesn't reach as far or linger long before dissipating on contact with fresh oxygenated air from outside this fiery inferno's perimeter. When someone enters one such furnace, they might see something different than what everyone else sees.
8. Roll up the windows If you are in a car, and close the air vents to keep the smoke outside during wildfire
The recent wildfires have left many people without a home or any belongings. One way you can do this is by rolling up your car window if there's a wildfire nearby - even if you're driving on the highway. You may be wondering why rolling up your window would help prevent a fire. Well, the answer is pretty simple: fuel in an engine compartment can ignite quickly - even if you're driving on the highway.
Rolling up your windows will limit how much air circulates through to feed this fire and keep it from spreading to other parts of the car or catching anyone's clothes on fire. The bottom line? It doesn't hurt (or take any extra time) to roll up a window for added safety! Remember to roll up your windows and close the air vents when you're in a car. If there is smoke outside, it can get through small cracks or openings that might be hard for us to notice. This could irritate the eyes and cause respiratory problems like asthma attacks or other allergies because of how sensitive some people's lungs are!
9. Remove curtains from windows and doors
In the event of a fire, remove curtains from windows and doors to prevent them from being ignited by flames or hot air. Keep bookshelves in free-standing areas as well so they don't burn. A house with curtains will burn faster than one without. Curtains can also hold heat, leading to secondary fires on top of the flames from the main fire. They are more likely to catch fire because they have more material and folds than drapery and a larger surface area.
Many times, curtain fires appear as piles of flame rather than a stream like other kinds of fires do; this is because they take up so much space, so there's more air getting in there for oxygen fuel to burn together and create the pile effect.
Keeping curtains away from windows prevents this pile effect from happening (and thus, it reduces chances that your home structures get damaged), as well as avoiding being ignited by flames or hot air. Keep bookshelves in free-standing areas as well so they don't burn.
10. Switch On lights outside and in every room
Turn on all the lights outside and in every room, visible to the rescuers through the smoke Rescuers may be on the way; lighting your homestead or house may send a signal of life. Don't open any windows when you light a fire. With all those strong winds out there, it could spread flames too quickly!
A wildfire is a fast-moving event that can sometimes overtake trained professionals and lead to injuries or death. If you find yourself caught up in one, take these steps:
Evacuate as soon as possible if you're told to do so by authorities. Have an emergency evacuation plan prepared so that everyone knows where and how they will leave the area.
Conclusion on how to survive a wildfire
How to survive a wildfire requires the use of common sense and fire education.
If you feel the heat is too high, try to evacuate the premises as soon as possible. Stay calm and think about what you can take with you or leave behind, depending on if it's time for you to flee or not.
When evacuating from your home, try to get out through doors opposite the wind direction because this will help avoid any chances of getting trapped by flames coming from different directions.
This may also help keep smoke from filling your lungs and make it hard for you to breathe if they are closed when leaving your property at an evacuation shelter. Be sure never to go back into a burning structure unless it has been confirmed.
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