Fire Season 2022 has started early. In Arizona, fire season means that rural areas, especially where properties back up to BLM or National Forest, are at high risk of having a fast-moving, dangerous wildfire on your doorstep. Being prepared before disaster strikes means you can evacuate quickly, safely and in an organized manner. Here are some tips and items to consider before you must leave your home, that will make packing your family, pets, and belongings much more efficient.

  • Always have at least ½ tank of fuel in your vehicles at all times.
  • Pack a ‘Go Bag’ with toiletries, spare clothes, phone chargers, blankets and pillows and other items of comfort to grab quickly and pack in your vehicle.
  • Make a list of medications and have a bag ready to pack those if needed. The list will ensure that nothing essential is left behind especially when packing those medications ahead of time is not practical.
  • Take videos of your home and include items you cannot pack up with you. Include any items of value, large or bulky items, or other things you may not have listed on your insurance policy that you will potentially claim if lost.
  • Have a plan to round up your pets. Include their food and drinking items, leashes, carriers or other ways of securing small pets. Make prior arrangements with family, friends or neighbors if you need additional help loading or transporting your pets or belongings.
  • Have important documents (Social Security cards, Birth and Marriage certificates, homeowners/auto/life insurance policies, photos or legal documents) in a convenient place together, ready to bring with you.
  • If you have enough room, consider packing camping or picnic supplies if you are unsure of where you will be evacuating to.
  • Close all windows and interior doors and remove curtains from windows. Turn off the gas to your home and remove propane tanks from BBQ grills and store them in a bunker, or far away from your home if you cannot bring them with you.
  • Know where you will bring large pets or livestock and plan. Find out what local agencies are available to take your animals, and how you will transport them to those locations.

We hope you’ll never have to evacuate due to a fire. But it’s good to be prepared.