This has already been a significant year for wildfires in California, with the Mendocino Complex Fire growing to the biggest in state history and Yosemite National Park closing to visitors for nearly three weeks. Unfortunately, the wildfire season isn’t over yet. In the Bay Area, we have at least another month until the autumn rains arrive, which means wildfires remain a risk for local residents. Read more
The recent wildfires destroyed thousands of homes and businesses in Northern California and left others in need of urgent repairs. With their lives upended, many residents are looking to start over and return to their former routines as quickly as possible. But those rebuilding after the wildfires need to move cautiously, as conditions are ripe for contractor scams. Unfortunately, history has shown that after a catastrophe, there are many bad actors ready and willing to take advantage of the vulnerable.
Contractors (especially good ones) are in high demand following a disaster. At the same time, there’s a lot of money available to the construction industry due to payouts from insurance policies and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Read more
One woman’s thoughts on what to pack in an emergency
by Joy Lanzaro, Director, Mediation and Compliance
Few of us have ever witnessed fire damage to residential and commercial structures like we’ve seen in the North Bay over the past few days. Many of us are experiencing a combination of emotions as a result, and anxiety is running high. One way to be prepared and manage anxiety is to put together a “Go Bag” just in case you need to quickly evacuate. My Go Bag is tiny because I’m single—one dog, no kids. Nearly all of my financial and insurance business is transacted online, so that eliminates some documentation. Read more
One of the most critical aspects of fire safety is creating a “defensible space” around your home: a 100-foot radius of property that’s specifically maintained to minimize fire risks. However, defensible space is often misunderstood—a lot of people think it merely consists of clearcutting all trees, shrubs and bushes within 100 feet of their homes, but this oversimplifies the matter. In reality, creating a defensible space involves a specific strategy. Read more
How to Use a Fire Extinguisher Read more
This year’s ample rain brought relief from the longstanding drought, but its deferred aftereffects have many California residents feeling an opposite sentiment. Following a profusion of spring growth, the onset of summer heat has transformed the landscape’s verdant splendor into a dry tinder, setting the stage for what fire authorities predict to be a harsh wildfire season. So far, this forecast appears to be accurate: According to a recent CNBC report, as of June 24, the amount of California acreage burned by wildfires is up threefold compared to this time in 2016. Read more
- Pick a fire extinguisher classified as A:B:C to fight three kinds of fire (combustible, flammable liquids and electrical).
- Select the largest fire extinguisher that you and your family members can comfortably operate.
- Stock at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of your home.
For more details on selecting and using a fire extinguisher, check out this article from This Old House.