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Preparing For Wildfires, Other Disasters

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Flames sweep down a hill during a large wildfire Tuesday, August 30, in northeast Oklahoma City. Flames sweep down a hill during a large wildfire Tuesday, August 30, in northeast Oklahoma City.

OKLAHOMA CITY – Dozens of families had only minutes to gather a few belongings and get out when a wildfire approached their northeast Oklahoma City homes Tuesday afternoon. There are several things families can do to be prepared when a disaster such as a wildfire strikes.

8/31/11 Related Story: Oklahoma Agency Offers Information On Preventing Wildfires

FEMA has created an in-depth "Are You Ready?" guide to help people prepare for emergencies. It's a checklist of things to do long before a disaster hits. The guide offers this advice:

  • Plan escape routes.
  • Establish a place for your family to meet and make sure everyone knows the location.
  • Plan how you will contact family members.
  • Keep insurance papers, vital records and important documents in one place so you can quickly grab them before evacuating.
  • Inventory home possessions for insurance purposes.
  • Have an emergency savings account to provide funds that can be used during a crisis. Also consider keeping a small amount of cash at home in a safe place where you can quickly access it.

FEMA also suggests in the minutes before you evacuate for a wildfire, you should:

  • Turn on outside lights and leave a light on in every room to make the house more visible in heavy smoke.
  • Leave doors and windows closed, but unlocked so firefighters can gain quick entry into your home to fight fire. FEMA says most likely, the area will be patrolled by firefighters, police


8/31/11 Related Story: Northeast OKC Wildfire Destroys Church
8/30/11 Related Story: Large Wildfire Contained In Northeast OKC
8/30/11 Related Story: Northeast OKC Wildfire Causes Mandatory Evacuations
8/30/11 Related Story: OKC Wildfire Victim Rush Back Home To Save Family Heirlooms
8/30/11 Related Story: Families Lose Homes In Large Wildfire In Northeast OKC

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