Getting creative about wildfire preparedness

Within just the last few weeks, our world has changed dramatically. New federal guidelines have appeared to combat COVID-19, the deadly and contagious coronavirus. Governors of many states have banned large gatherings, advising weeks or months of shelter-in-place, and mandating the closure of all but essential businesses. All Americans have had to rethink how we behave, plan and adjust to this new reality.

If you've been planning to participate in Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on May 2, or to conduct your local Firewise meetings or implement group risk reduction projects, you may be wondering how to make wildfire safety mesh with virus safety. Fortunately, there are many things people can do as individuals or family units immediately around their properties that make a real difference in wildfire risk reduction. We've developed a new "project ideas" page to give you examples.

While sheltering in our homes, there's also a lot we can do to educate ourselves and share educational resources with others. Back on March 20, NFPA and State Farm shared our message to stay safe and simply do wildfire preparedness events in groups only when it's safe to do so - even if that's months from now. A great thing you can do - and many have already done - is to share this key information by email, social media or in virtual meetings you hold with your neighbors and friends. Organizations like the Texas A&M Forest Service, and the Lake Plymouth Firewise Community in New Jersey have shared these key messages on Facebook. The Lakeland District for the Florida Forest Service is sharing helpful Twitter posts with the hashtag #WPFromHome to encourage risk reduction in Home Ignition Zones. We've got some creative social media post suggestions for you with key links and images right on our web pages.

Be safe, be well, and be creative - and feel free to share your solutions to achieving wildfire risk reduction in the midst of an unprecedented global event!

Follow me for more Firewise and wildfire preparedness information on Twitter @Michele_NFPA

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Michele Steinberg
Director, Wildfire Division, Disaster safety educator, land use planning advocate. Believes we can end home destruction from wildfires.

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