As the drought worsens and the region continues to face longer wildfire seasons, officials warn that preparing for wildfires is critical, especially communities in the San Fernando Valley and its adjoining mountainous areas, including Sylmar, Agoura Hills , Thousand Oaks and Calabasas, where devastating fires burned. homes and neighborhoods in recent years.
Massive and destructive fires have broken out near and in the San Fernando Valley area in recent years. The 2008 Sylmar Fire, also known as the Sayre Fire, burned 489 homes. The 2018 Woolsey Fire destroyed 1,600 homes and buildings, killed three people and forced thousands to evacuate after a fire broke out in Simi Valley. It burned through the Conejo Valley and swathes of the Agoura Hills, and ran through the Santa Monica Mountains to Malibu.
If the Los Angeles Fire Department needs to warn Angelenos that their home is near an active fire, that their community is threatened by fire, or that evacuations are being ordered, they alert tens of thousands of Angelenos through their phones. cell phones and computer alerts that go directly to affected households.
But you must set up the fire alert system LAFD offers, to be among those who receive timely digital warnings at home.
One of the ways to prepare for an emergency, officials say, is to set the LAFD fire system alert to https://www.lafd.org/alerts.
It only requires five steps and a few minutes to register, according to LAFD officials. Residents just need to go to LAFD.org/alerts and click the “sign up for alerts” button in the upper right corner. Then create an account by adding a first name, last name, and email address and choose whether to receive city-wide alerts or San Fernando Valley alerts only. Then click the “Finish” button and start receiving notifications from LAFD when needed.
When wildfires break out, said LAFD Capt. Erik Scott, the fire department works in conjunction with the City of Los Angeles Department of Emergency Management.
“We can literally look at a map and say, ‘This is where the fire is, this is where it’s going,’” Scott said. “We will draw a box on that map and send that alert to everyone who is within that box of the threatened area.”
The next step to better prepare for a wildfire is for residents to follow the “Six Ps” in the event of a quick evacuation, according to Scott. The six are:
- people and pets
- Important papers, phone numbers and documents
- Recipes, vitamins and glasses
- Irreplaceable photographs and memories
- personal computer or laptop
- Plastic such as credit cards, ATM cards, and cash
Residents can also sign up for Notify LAto create an account and receive notifications by phone or text messages.
There are alerts that do not require a subscription for those who do not want to share their cell phone number or email.
The federal government allows the City and County of Los Angeles to use two federal systems during emergencies. These systems do not require registration or registration.
Wireless Emergency Alerts, or WEAs, send evacuation orders and other important messages to cell phones based on residents’ current location. Another system, known as the Emergency Alert System, or EAS, sends out alerts that disrupt local radio and television broadcasts in the event of a large-scale emergency.
“Whether they have signed up for alerts or not, they will continue to receive wireless emergency alerts,” Scott said. “Federal (alert) systems do not require registration or registration.”
When it comes to pets, he said, people often take care of them by putting them in their cars when they have to evacuate. Things are more complicated with larger animals like horses and llamas.
There are often predetermined locations for large animals, he said. Large animal shelters are often set up near the fire to make it easier for residents to bring animals.
“Stay tuned for alerts coming from the Los Angeles City Fire Department and we will designate if and when a large animal area is established,” he said.
The Centers for Disease Control recommended creating a pet emergency kit, which includes a pet crate for each, food and water for at least two weeks for each, litter and litter box, sturdy leashes or harnesses, and a microchip number. You can find more information on how to practice evacuating your pets here.
When it comes to shelters for people, Scott said, their locations are often determined based on the geographic region that is at risk.
“We want it to be close, so it’s okay for people to go there, but not so close that it’s a threat,” he said.
In late May, two wildfires burned along Highway 118 in Granada Hills and Porter Ranch. More than 70 firefighters were needed to control the fire, according to the LAFD. And over the weekend, a massive fire broke out in a vacant warehouse in Woodland Hills, requiring nearly 80 firefighters to put out the blaze. The fire was big enough be seen from spaceaccording to the Los Angeles National Weather Service.
Scott said the weather outlook is not optimistic this year.
The drought is getting worse, with rainfall well below normal since January. Temperatures are likely to be above normal through July, she said.
Not only does the heat increase the threat of wildfires, he added, but the heat itself also poses a danger to people, particularly the elderly and children.
To beat the heat, Scott recommended drinking plenty of water, avoiding going out in hot weather, keeping an eye on others, especially the elderly and children, and never leaving children or animals in the car.