MALIBU—The city of Malibu is inviting all community members to participate in Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on Saturday, May 1. The national campaign encourages individuals and organizations to come together on a single day to take action to raise awareness and reduce wildfire risks. During the pandemic, the 2021’s Wildfire Community Preparedness Day is focused on what residents can do on and around their home to help protect against the threat of wildfires.
“As extreme fire conditions and mega-fires have become the new normal in California, it is more important than ever for everyone in Malibu to be prepared for the next catastrophic wildfire by making your emergency plans, hardening your home and building up your emergency supplies,” said Mayor Mikke Pierson. “Ever since the Woolsey Fire, Malibu has been ramping up our wildfire preparedness efforts, and by joining us for the Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, you can do even more to protect your family, home and neighborhood.”
The city of Malibu reported on its website that projects that decrease wildfire risk and increase preparedness can be accomplished by individuals of all ages with a variety of time commitments, even during the pandemic. The city’s Public Safety staff recommend these actions:
See if one’s home’s address number is visible from the street. If not, trim overgrown vegetation covering or blocking the numbers on your homes in case firefighters need to find it.
If the property has a drafting hydrant make sure it’s visible from the street, painted red and properly signed.
Check your possessions. Take video and photos of your possessions so you will have documentation to replace belongings.
Rake and remove pine needles and dry leaves to a minimum of 5 feet from a home’s foundation. Dispose of collected debris in appropriate trash receptacles.
Sweep porches and decks, clearing them of leaves and pine needles. Rake under decks, porches, sheds, and play structures.
On mature trees, use hand pruners and loppers to remove low-hanging tree branches up to a height of 4 feet from the ground (specific height depends on the type and size of tree). Collect downed tree limbs and broken branches and take them to a disposal site.
Remove items stored under decks and porches and relocate them to a storage area. Gasoline cans and portable propane tanks should never be stored indoors or near the home.
Make Plans, Gather Supplies
Create a family emergency plan, including communication plan, reunification locations, evacuation plan and 72-hour survival kit for you, your family, and your pets. Plan multiple escape routes from your home, workplace, and places you frequent. Learn how with the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Ready! Set! Go! Guide.
Visit the City’s Evacuation web page to see the City’s mass evacuation plan, evacuation zones, routes and more.
Sign up to receive City emergency alerts (scroll down to “Alert Center”) by text message and email and Disaster Notifications. Obtain wildfire planning advice on the Cal Fire website
When the National Weather Service forecasts dangerous fire conditions (very low humidity and high winds) or issues a Red Flag Warning or Fire Weather Watch, monitor fire weather conditions at https://www.weather.gov/lox/ and monitor local news, especially on AM and FM radio, which you can receive on battery, hand-crank, solar and car radios when the power goes out.
Home Ignition Zone Assessments
During a wind-driven wildfire such as the Woolsey Fire, millions of burning embers can travel more than a mile ahead of the fire front and are a major cause of homes being destroyed during a wildfire. When embers find dry, receptive fuels and get lodged in gaps such as eves and attic vents in and around your home, they cause your house to ignite and burn down. Fire experts coin this the Home Ignition Zone. By being ember-aware and taking often simple and inexpensive steps ahead of time, you can substantially harden your home against flying embers during wildfires.
The City’s Fire Safety Liaison will visit one’s home and provide a no-cost, no-obligation Home Ignition Zone Assessment that will give you a checklist of recommendations to harden against flying embers. Visit the online scheduling system to set an appointment for your home assessment.
For more details about wildfire safety and how to protect your home, visit the City’s Wildfire Safety website or contact Fire Safety Liaison Chris Brossard at 310-456-2489, ext. 387 or by email at FireSafety@MalibuCity.org.