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With wildfires raging out of control in many parts of Texas, I thought it wise to review disaster tips in the event one of you were effected by this dangerous beast.

Before:
  • Give your yard a good annual clean-up and maintenance.  Prune tree limbs within 10 feet of your home, clear away dead plants or branches, and remove pine needles, leaves, and other debris from the yard, roof and gutters.
  • Prepare a family evacuation plan.  Have more than one escape route and designate a meeting place if family members are in different locations when an evacuation order is given.
  • Make sure adult family members know how to shut off utilities and how to use fire extinguishers.
  • Prepare a survival kit.
  • Keep an updated inventory of your personal property and important documents.

During:

  • Listen to the radio for important reports and evacuation information.
  • Remove lightweight and non fire-resistant curtains from around windows.
  • Place combustible patio furniture in the house or garage.  Move all flammable furniture away from windows to the center of the house.
  • Close windows and interior doors
  • Connect a garden hose to the outside tap and place lawn sprinklers on the roof.  Wet the roof and any shrubs within 15 feet of the house

If you must evacuate:

  • Shut off all propane at the tank, or natural gas at the meter, and turn off all pilot lights
  • Turn on a light in each room of the house to increase visibility of your home in heavy smoke.
  • Wear protective clothing including sturdy shoes, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts, gloves, and a bandana or handkerchief.
  • Advise a friend or family member outside the wildfire area that you are leaving and where you will be.

After:

  • Stay tuned to the radio or television for updated information.  If you had to evacuate, return home only after authorities advise it is safe to do so.
  • Check for hazards such as electrical shorts or gas or water leaks.  Turn off any damaged utilities, and arrange for the electric or gas company to test, repari, or turn utilities back on.
  • Check the roof and attic for smoke, sparks, and embers.
  • Throw away any items such as food or medicines that have been contaminated by smoke or fire.
  • Promptly report any loss to Travelers using the toll-free claim reporting number.

Information Provided by Travelers Ins.

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