If you live in the boreal forest zone of the Prairie provinces, then you probably know that summer weather means the start of barbeques, baseball games, pool parties—and wildfires! These fires can cause a lot of damage to your property and a hefty amount of stress for your family. Here are some tips to help you avoid and handle catastrophe.
Before a wildfire: be prepared
Most wildfires start between May and September. They can be ignited by natural causes, such as a lightning strike, but they can also be caused by human negligence. It’s important to pay attention to local news so that you’re aware of wild-fires in your neighbourhood. You should also plan an escape route from your home and determine the best exit from each room (if you live in a high-rise, make sure you know how to leave the building without the elevator). Finally, prepare a bug-out bag with the following items: a flashlight, bottled water, first aid kit, a cell phone charger (you can find ones with battery banks) and non-perishable food.
During a wildfire
If a wildfire is threatening your community, it’s extremely important to obey all directions from your local or provincial government agencies. All family members should pack their bags with clothes and key items, such as medications and valuable documents, in case you need to evacuate. While waiting to hear news, there are many things that you can do to protect your home and your family. For starters, you can ensure that windows and doors are kept shut to limit the en-trance of smoke and dust. Also, you can soak the roof of your home and surrounding property with water (unless water usage has been limited).
After a wildfire: safety first
Even if authorities have stated that it is safe to return home, you still need to remember a few safety tips. First, don’t rush into your house. Check for downed power lines and the smell of gas. If need be, alert the appropriate utility companies. Next, turn off the main power breaker before you walk through your home. Then, toss out all food from the fridge and the freezer. If your home has been without power or has been exposed to fire retardant chemicals, this food is unfit to eat.
When you purchase house insurance in Edmonton, remember to consider the threat of wildfires. It’s important to have a policy that properly covers your home and your belongings as well as out-of-pocket expenses in the event of an emergency. To find out if you have the protection you need, contact MBS Insurance Brokers today. We have over 45 years of experience helping Edmonton homeowners feel safe and secure, and can help you protect your home in the event of a natural disaster.