Emergency Preparedness and Response: Wildfires

Before the Fire

With a variety of topics ranging from protecting your physical health to protecting your home and property, the resources below will guide you through the necessary precautions to take before a wildfire or its smoke reaches you and your home.  |  Con una variedad de temas que van desde la protección de su salud física hasta la protección de su hogar y propiedad, los recursos a continuación lo guiarán a través de las precauciones necesarias que debe tomar antes de que un incendio forestal o su humo llegue a usted y a su hogar.

Background: Frequency/Geographic Impact

Using visual aids, including maps and graphs, these resources present data that indicate the locations, frequency, and severity of wildfire damage in the United States. Residents can use these resources to determine if they live in an area that is high risk or is trending towards being high risk for wildfires.  |  Mediante ayudas visuales, incluidos mapas y gráficos, estos recursos presentan datos que indican las ubicaciones, la frecuencia y la gravedad de los daños causados ​​por incendios forestales en los Estados Unidos. Los residentes pueden usar estos recursos para determinar si viven en un área de alto riesgo o que tiende a ser de alto riesgo de incendios forestales.

U.S. Wildfires in 2019
EcoWest’s interactive website provides a map that plots U.S. wildfires since 2003 plus graphs of state rank and annual wildfire acreage. [url; EcoWest]

Facts + Statistics: Wildfires
This website provides users with quick wildfires facts and statistics including wildfires by year, annual number of acres burned, states at high wildfire risk, and more. [url; III]

When and Where Are Wildfires Most Common in the U.S.?
The DataFace used U.S. Forest Service data to create maps and graphs illustrating where wildfires start and peak wildfire season by state, month, and year. [url; DataFace, 2018]

National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network
CDC’s National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network Data Explorer tools includes several data measures related to wildfire smoke.

  • On the Query Panel, select “Air Quality” from the menu, followed by “Wildland Fires” and “Areas and populations vulnerable to predicted surface smoke from wildland fires.” You can then select “National by County,” “State by County,” or “State by Census Tracts” population breakdowns. The tool will show you the rough number of people vulnerable to smoke in each area and overlay current or recent smoke conditions on the graphic. You can also break the data down further to compare specific vulnerable populations (such as number of asthma hospitalizations) for certain states.

Background: Indoor Air Quality

Wildfire smoke poses a significant risk to your health, especially when it enters your home. Use this resource to understand how your indoor environment effects your health and how important it is to consider indoor air quality during wildfire smoke events.  |  El humo de los incendios forestales representa un riesgo significativo para su salud, especialmente cuando ingresa a su hogar. Utilice este recurso para comprender cómo su entorno interior afecta su salud y qué tan importante es considerar la calidad del aire interior durante los eventos de humo de incendios forestales.

Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality
NCHH’s web page provides information on ventilation, airborne contaminants, indoor humidity, and HVAC considerations as they relate to preventing health hazards in the home. [url; NCHH]

How Do Emergencies Affect the Indoor Environment? Wildfires, Volcanic Eruptions, and Dust Storms
As part of EPA’s larger collection of information on different emergencies, this section on wildfires gives a brief explanation of how the contents of wildfire smoke can affect indoor air and actions you can take to protect yourself. [url; EPA, 2022]

Preparedness and Evacuation

Have you been ordered to evacuate, or are you anticipating such an order? If so, use these resources to prepare as thoroughly as possible and ensure that you have a safe experience. |  ¿Se le ha ordenado evacuar o está anticipando tal orden? Si es así, utilice estos recursos para prepararse lo más a fondo posible y asegurarse de tener una experiencia segura.

Prepare Your Organization for a Wildfire: Playbook
This guide from FEMA covers how to prepare for an evacuation as well as preparing your organization and community for a wildfire. [pdf; FEMA]

How to Prepare for a Wildfire
This guide from FEMA covers how to prepare for evacuation as well as preparing your home for a wildfire. [pdf; FEMA]

Ready: Wildfires
This website lists steps to remain safe before, during, and after a wildfire, and includes links to survivor stories, a social media toolkit, a guide for preparing your organization for a wildfire, and other resources. [url; DHS, 2020]

Wildfire Evacuation
FEMA’s fact sheet includes some basic tips for staying safe during an evacuation. [pdf; FEMA]

Fire Evacuation Checklist
This checklist from the U.S. Forest Service covers all of the steps families should take to prepare for an evacuation. [pdf; USFS]

Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out  
This infographic from FEMA details an effective evacuation plan in the event of a fire. [pdf; FEMA]

Planning Framework for Protecting Commercial Building Occupants from Smoke During Wildfire Events
This interim guidance provides building owners and managers recommendations on how to prepare for wildfire smoke to protect their occupants. These recommendations apply to most commercial buildings, schools, and multi-unit residential buildings. [pdf; ASHRAE]

[Esp] Sea inteligente  con la electricidad en su casa 
Esta infografía en español de la Agencia Federal para el Manejo de Emergencias (FEMA) describe cómo el mantenimiento eléctrico puede prevenir incendios en el hogar. | This Spanish-language infographic from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) describes how electrical maintenance can prevent fires in the home. [pdf; FEMA]

[Esp] Contra incendios para adultos mayores 
Este folleto digitalizado de FEMA describe datos y consejos de seguridad contra incendios para adultos mayores. | This digitized booklet from FEMA describes fire safety facts and tips for older adults. [pdf; FEMA, 2018]

[Esp] El acaparamiento y la seguridad contra incendios 
Esta infografía en español de FEMA detalla cómo eliminar los riesgos de seguridad contra incendios (como el desorden extremo) para los bomberos en su hogar. | This Spanish-language infographic from FEMA details how to remove fire safety risks (such as extreme clutter) for firefighters in your home. [pdf; FEMA]

[Esp] Contra incendios en el hogar 
Este folleto en español de FEMA contiene información importante, imágenes útiles y gráficos que describen cómo mantener su hogar a salvo de un incendio. | This Spanish-language booklet from FEMA contains important information, helpful images, and graphs describing how to keep your home safe from a fire. [pdf; FEMA, 2020]

[Esp] Cada segundo cuenta: ¡Plan de 2 salidas!
Esta infografía en español de FEMA detalla un plan de evacuación efectivo en caso de incendio.  |  This Spanish-language infographic from FEMA details an effective evacuation plan in the event of a fire. [pdf; FEMA]


Latest page update: September 9, 2022.