TUCSON, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fierce wildfires across seven western states (Arizona, California, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas) have already forced the evacuation of thousands of residents from their homes. Authorities attribute the fires to a mixture of triple digit temperatures, extremely dry terrain and high winds.
As firefighters work to contain the blazes in certain areas, GEICO offers preparation tips in the event wildfires continue to spread across the country.
- Put an evacuation plan in place. Your plan should include several escape routes away from your neighborhood just in case roads are blocked. Designate a meeting place for family members in a safe location. Remember to drive carefully and watch for other vehicles and fleeing wildlife or livestock.
- Reduce the threat with a defensible space. Creating a defensible space will help make your home and the surrounding area more resistant to an oncoming wildfire. Clear away debris, dry leaves, trees and brush to reduce the amount of flammable materials around your home that can easily burn.
- Create an emergency kit. Stock your emergency kit to include water, batteries, a flashlight, first aid supplies, radio or other communications, medical prescriptions and a map. Don’t forget supplies for your pets.
- Stay alert for weather bulletins. Check the local and national weather forecasts for advisories, updates and evacuation orders. Be prepared to act immediately when an alert goes out.
- Secure your personal documents. Secure items such as passports, deeds, life insurance policies and warranties in a fireproof and waterproof box. If your records are stored electronically, copy the information to a backup drive and a secure cloud-based service.
- Check your insurance coverage. Review and update your homeowners, renters and vehicle insurance policies. You want to ensure that you have adequate coverage protection for your property and personal belongings. Take photos or videos of your home’s contents. This will allow you to calculate your losses if you ever need to file a claim.