With rising temperatures and high winds, Oregon and Western Washington face the continued threat of destructive wildfires.
As fires broke throughout the Northwest on Labor Day weekend, some residents endured evacuations and many travelers encountered closures on roads, campgrounds and recreation areas. Meanwhile, firefighters braved unpredictable conditions to contain damage.
September marks National Preparedness Month and Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington urges Oregonians and Washingtonians to be ready for possible climate hazards:
Plan: Decide what to do and where to go if natural disasters strike. Come up with an emergency plan with instructions on where to meet. Get tips and materials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency - or FEMA.
Prepare: Cover all bases. Get information on what to do before a wildfire from FEMA and a Wildfire Safety Checklist from the Red Cross.
- Conduct a home inventory of possessions if homeowners or renters' insurance is in place. If not, consider purchasing coverage. Utilize Preparing the Northwest, a free resource of the NW Insurance Council.
- Keep vital documents in a fireproof safe; items may include birth certificates, Social Security cards, passports and photos.
- Create an emergency survival kit with plenty of food, water and safety materials.
Pay Attention: Be aware of what is happening locally. Stay informed through radio, television and printed news. Check with the Incident Information System, Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon Emergency Management, Washington's Emergency Management Division and FEMA.
Prevent: Burn responsibly.Find tips at oregon.gov/ODF, keeporegongreen.org and dnr.wa.gov.
Protect: Know how to react if emergencies strike. Some individuals, families and businesses may seek disaster aid assistance or financial support for damaged property and losses not covered by insurance. Get options at disasterassistance.gov, fema.gov, oregonredcross.org and redcrosswashington.org.
Turn to BBB for more natural disaster tips and donation advice for relief efforts. Find additional preparedness tips at ready.gov, fema.gov and redcross.org.