Wildfire Series: Monitoring Wildfire and Fire Damage
With the invocation of this fire season and with the kind of fires we see year after year, it’s important that your family understand how to monitor a wildfire’s progress and how to get on the same page as the firefighters and first responders.
Any wildfire near a populated – even rural – area is going to garner attention from public agencies and the media. Watch the news and monitor updates about fire damage, firefighting progress, road closures and other major milestones.
THE MEDIA AND GOVERNMENT:
Monitor the media for town halls or other in-person, public information meetings. Look for handouts and maps detailing evacuation information and road closures. Keep an eye out for resources and other vital information to protect your home from fire damage and provide your family a safe escape.
The media and public meetings are great for catching regularly scheduled reports, but the experts are talking all the time – you just need to know where to listen. Make sure that you are subscribing to the experts and agencies on social media for real-time information and progress. Make sure you’re looking on Google+, Facebook and Twitter for information and reliable sources.
Twitter is a great micro-blogging platform to get bite-sized snippets and links to relevant information. Make sure you are following local, first responders, local government agencies and the local news for relevant and timely updates.
For wildfires, I would also consider looking at these forestry agencies.
@CentralORFire @OchocoNatForest @OregonDOT @DesNatlForest @ORDeptForestry
Shaniko Butte Wildfire reaches Lower Deschutes River at Dant. Lower Deschutes River is NOW closed from Trout Creek to Long Bend.
— Central OR Fire Info (@CentralORFire) July 17, 2014
With all the high-tech and real-time monitoring options, don’t forget to follow the time-tested options as well. Make sure that you have an emergency radio, NAOO compatible, with a reliable power supply. You can find and buy emergency radios anywhere; the Red Cross also sells one for as low as $25.
The best course of action is based on the best information. Make sure that you’re plugged in and connected. Monitor the media and your local government on tradition and new media outlets. Keep your family ahead of the dangers and get that early warning to protect your home from avoidable fire damage.