Preparing for Fire Season Needs to Begin as Soon as Possible
2020 is the worst fire season the American west has ever seen. A mixture of several factors has displaced thousands of lives and destroyed hundreds of structures. Even though the 2020 fire season isn’t over, now is the time to begin preparing for 2021, so that your home and your estate is protected.
Tips for Preparing for Fire Season 2021
1. Update your Estate Plan or Will
In the event that tragedy strikes, don’t leave surviving family members to wonder about your final wishes. Updating your estate plan or will ensures that things happen exactly as you planned. A comprehensive estate plan outlines where your property is distributed and how your wealth is divided. Also keep copies of your estate planning in a fireproof safe, if possible. These kind of well laid plans will help surviving loved ones through the difficult times ahead.
2. Prepare Your Property
Firefighting resources are spread so thin that they are unable to perform annual defensible space inspections. They have requested that homeowners inspect their own properties for any potential fire hazards.
Creating defensible space around your home is paramount to keeping it protected. There are two zones surrounding your home to consider when preparing for fire season. Zone one is a 30-foot extension from the edge of your home and patio or deck. Zone two is a 100-foot extension from the edge of your home. To prepare zone one for fire season, homeowners should clear away all dead branches or overhanging limbs. They should also remove all dry leaves, pine needles, and dead vegetation. Rain gutters need to be cleaned out as well. In zone two, keep grass to a length of four inches. Create horizontal and vertical rows between vegetation and don’t let leaves, needles, and branches pile up more than three inches high. All wood piles should be moved to zone two.
3. Prepare Your Home
Hardening your home is the most effective way to prepare for fire season. Houses don’t usually catch fire from being in the path of a fire. Houses more commonly catch fire because of flying embers falling into vents and accumulating in eaves. There are multiple levels to hardening your home and the levels a homeowner implements are usually limited by money. A simple hardening process can be putting metal screens over vents or exterior access points. More expensive processes can include replacing your existing siding, windows, and/or roofing with something fire resistant.
4. Assemble an Emergency Kit
This year has proven just how quickly homes can catch fire and homeowners need to leave in a hurry. An emergency kit is an absolute must. This kit should contain:
- Important documents – this includes birth certificates, property titles, and insurance papers
- Cash or credit cards
- Lists of family mediations
- Extra phone charger
- Change of clothes
- First aid kit, masks, and hand sanitizer
- Flashlight and batteries
- Anything else specific to the family’s needs
Before leaving the house, homeowners should grab their phone, wallet, and keys, in addition to the emergency kit.
5. Have an Escape Plan
Homeowners need a comprehensive escape plan when preparing for fire season. Multiple paths to exits need to be mapped out inside the home in case an area of the house catches fire. There needs to be multiple meeting points for the family outside of the home. There also needs to be several paths drawn for escaping the neighborhood. This will ensure the best chance of getting to safety.
LeAnn Schumann Provides Comprehensive Estate Planning as part of Jesse Kalter Law
A comprehensive estate plan is not something that should be done online by yourself. It is a legally binding document that requires the knowledge and experience of an estate planning lawyer. LeAnn Schumann has a proven track record of ensuring that final wishes are granted and estates are dispersed to the correct recipients. She knows the right questions to ask to ensure every aspect of your concerns is addressed. She is available to serve Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Fallon, Fernley, Dayton, Yerington, Douglas County, and all other Northern NV rural counties.
Prepare for Fire Season with Comprehensive Estate Planning
Contact Jesse Kalter Law Today for an Estate Planning Consultation
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