So far in 2020 there have been over 25,000 fires in the United States, and over 90 percent of all wildfires are started by humans. Wildfires can cost nonprofits and Human Service organizations a lot of money in property damage dollars, potentially lost revenue and other expenses associated with a loss. Here are four tips to help protect your organization.
Tip 1: Create and review your wildfire emergency plan
An emergency wildfire plan will ensure you have planned for different scenarios that may occur in the event of a wildfire. Include things like what to do in case of evacuation, who are key decision makers, what will be the communications to employees, clients and other stakeholders. Create a plan, discuss it with key stakeholders and employees, and review that plan annually.
Tip 2: Use defensible space and fire-resistant materials
Before a wildfire even starts, clear the area surrounding your building of debris and flammable materials. The goal is to reduce the chances and likelihood that your building will start on fire. Do this by reducing the amount of flammable materials in and around your building, and use fire-resistant materials in landscaping and construction.
Tip 3: Protect your important documents
Many documents are irreplaceable or replacements may take time. Store all important documents in a fire-resistant safe. Create digital copies in a password-protected safe place. If storing documents online, protect sensitive information and use smart online practices.
Tip 4: Follow all evacuation and safety rules
If a wildfire is in your area, listen to your local authorities and follow all evacuation and safety plans. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provide emergency alerts. Remember to leave when directed to do so.
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