Preparedness Empowers You

It saves lives, property, and time.

Emergencies happen, often with little or no notice. By taking action beforehand you can be prepared for any emergency.

Be Ready Navy!
I am. Are you?

An MH-60S Seahawk carries a bucket containing 420 gallons of water to dump on a wild fire in San Diego County. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist Seaman Jon Husman/Released) 071026-N-6597H-090


FALLBROOK, Calif. (May 14, 2014) Smoke fills the sky as wildfires burn in and around Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook in San Diego County, Calif. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Orrin Farmer/Released) 140514-M-DB645-822
Photo By: Official Marine Corps Photo 091211-M-0000A-121

Wildfires can start unexpectedly and spread quickly, often due to lightning strikes or accidents. You may not be aware of a wildfire until you are in danger, so it is important to be prepared for a wildfire, especially if you live in a dry, wooded area. Wildfires can be incredibly destructive and dangerous. They pose a threat not only to your home and community, but also to your family if you are not prepared.

How to Prepare for a Wildfire

  • Be informed. Be aware of your area’s risk for wildfires.
  • Make a written family evacuation plan.
  • Make an emergency communication plan in case family members are separated.
  • Practice fire safety by:
    • Installing smoke detectors on every level of your home.
    • Never leaving a fire (including a cigarette) burning unattended.
    • Avoiding open burning.
    • Keeping a ladder that will reach the roof.
  • Create a 30-50 foot safety zone around your home by:
    • Clearing the area of all flammable vegetation, including dry leaves and branches.
    • Removing the vines from the side of your home.
    • Regularly disposing of trash at approved sites.
    • Storing gasoline and oily rags in proper safety cans.
  • Regularly clean roof and gutters of debris.
  • Inspect and clean chimneys at least once a year.
  • Make sure you have a fire extinguisher as well as a hose that can reach all areas of the home.
  • Build an emergency kit.

What to Do When There Is a Wildfire

  • Listen to radio and TV for information and instructions.
  • If you spot a wildfire, call 911 immediately. Do not assume that someone has already reported it.
  • If directed to evacuate, do so immediately:
    • Turn on porch lights and all the lights inside to make your home easier to spot in heavy smoke.
    • Leave doors and windows unlocked for firefighters.
    • Turn off gas.
    • Fill any large containers with water, including pools, garbage cans, and tubs.
    • Close all the doors in your house to prevent a draft.
    • If time permits, clear the house and the area around it of any flammable items, including firewood, and cloth curtains.
  • Take your emergency kit.
  • Wear protective clothing.
  • Once you are in a safe place, muster with your command if you are military or civilian personnel or a member of the selective reserves.

What to Do After a Wildfire

  • Avoid damaged or fallen power lines, poles, and downed wires.
  • Wear leather gloves and heavy soled shoes to protect hands and feet.
  • Check the roof and attic for smoldering embers or fires.
  • Put out any fires with the water stored in containers.
  • Wet debris down to minimize breathing dust particles.
  • Do NOT use water that you think may be contaminated.
  • Maintain a fire watch for several hours, periodically checking for fires or smoke throughout and around the house.
  • If you evacuated, do not return home until Fire Marshals say it is safe to do so.
  • After a declared emergency, register your needs with the Navy through the Navy Family Accountability and Assessment System (NFAAS) at or call 1-877-414-5358 or 1-866-297-1971 (TDD).

Where to Find Additional Information


Be Ready Navy—Be informed before, during, and after an incident; make a written family emergency plan; and build an emergency supply kit good for at least three days.

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