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Warm weather, dry conditions prompting fire preparedness

With warm weather, dry conditions and an already active fire season the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team offers the following tips in the event of a fire. (Information courtesy SBCSAR Public Information Officer Valerie Walston)

1. Plan for an evacuation with a box of supplies including:
One gallon of water, per person, per day
Food (minimum one day’s worth)
Prescription medicine
First aid kit, available at any pharmacy or sports or outdoors recreation store
Personal documents (passports, birth certificates, insurance policies, home deeds)

2. Follow the instructions of law enforcement.
As you prepare to evacuate, park your vehicle facing outward, and carry your keys with you in case you need to leave immediately.
Locate pets and keep them close.
Prepare farm animals for transport.
Move propane barbeque canisters away from your home or other structures.
Cover up with long pants, long sleeves, boots, and a hat or bandana. Stick with 100 percent cotton if you can.
Leave the lights on, doors unlocked, and windows closed.
Turn off gas.
Follow the evacuation route provided by law enforcement.

3. If you’re trapped, stay calm and call 911.
If you’re trapped in your car: Park your vehicle away from vegetation. Close vehicle windows, cover yourself with a blanket or jacket, and lie on the vehicle floor. Call 911 immediately.
If you’re trapped on foot: Go to an area clear of vegetation. Find a ditch if possible. Lie face down, and cover up. Call 911 immediately.
If you’re trapped at home: Keep residents of the home together. Fill sinks and tubs with cold water. Keep doors and windows closed. Stay inside. Stay away from outside walls and windows. Call 911 immediately.

4. When you return home, keep an eye out.
Be alert for downed power lines.
Check your residence for hidden embers or smoldering fires.
Check propane tanks, regulators, and lines before turning gas on.

Since 1950, California wildfires have resulted in 97 deaths, 1,504 injuries, and $2.1 billion in costs. Santa Barbara County Search & Rescue (SBCSAR) assists in the evacuation of people and animals in fires. SBCSAR has assisted the evacuation of residents and outdoors recreationalists in, among others, the recent White, Rice, and Olive Fires, as well as the notorious Zaca, Gap, Jesusita, and Tea Fires.

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