As we were leaving the house to go out for dinner on Sat. evening, the Northern sky was filled with smoke. Oh, no! A desert fire! Lightening strikes the dry, brittle landscape and it explodes into flames devouring vegetation and whatever lies in it's path. As we watched the smoke billow and change color we guessed that this one was in Spanish Springs, NV which was later confirmed. Spanish Springs is on the north side of Sparks. Fortunately, this one was extinguished before homes were engulfed.
How do you prepare for wild fire in the desert?
- It's really important that everyone maintains a safe boundary around their property.
- Chop down weeds next to fencing, clear cheat grass and other low growing vegetation that turn into fuel during hot summer months.
- Plant trees away from your home. Select plants that contain a high percentage of water for foundation plantings.
- Use rock for ground cover instead of shredded bark.
- When all that is said and done, consider creating a "grab and go" bag and keep it near your front door. What goes inside? Water, money, medicines, food, phone and account numbers, flip flops, flash light, batteries, radio, t.p, can opener.... things that would become necessities in the event you were suddenly evacuated.
It may seem silly to even consider such an item, but when disaster hits it is usually very quick and there's no time to think about what you need.
Maybe you live in an area that never experiences wild fires but what about earthquakes or tornadoes or hurricanes or flooding? FEMA & the Red Cross have terrific brochures about emergency preparedness. They are free to the public and distribution of this material is a terrific public service event.
We have family throughout CA and NV and the one thing that we have all agreed to is this: In the event of a major emergency, everyone calls a specific phone number and checks in. What about you? Do you have a plan for your family? After reading this, how about doing one more little thing? Check your fire insurance coverage. Is it sufficient? And while you are at it, when was the last time you replaced the batteries in your smoke alarms?
Enjoy life and stay safe!
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