By Erin Peyton, HWMO Community Wildfire Ambassador
Be wildfire-aware in all activities. Below are some tips and resources to keep you, your family and your homes wildfire aware, prepared, and safe.
Stay informed using trusted sources, and make sure you are signed up for civil defense alerts. Sign up for the Maka’ala notification service at the MEMA website at mauicounty.gov/emergency. The link to self-register is under the Maka’ala – Emergency Alerts or public.alertsense.com/SignUp/publicUser.aspx?RegionId=1946.
If you don’t have a computer or other electronic device to sign up, please call the MEMA office at (808) 270-7285. They will be happy to assist you to register on the phone.
Make and practice a family evacuation plan. If an evacuation is announced by local authorities do not hesitate and leave immediately. Most victims get stuck because they waited or took too long to evacuate. Practice situational awareness and leave early.
Have a go-bag ready and packed with medicines, wallet, etc. For a complete list go to state.gov/global-community-liaison-office/crisis-management/packing-a-go-bag-and-a-stay-bag/.
Report suspicious activity you may have seen before, during, or after a fire.
Prepare your home and yard. Houses can ignite from flying embers entering your home. For ideas on how to harden your home visit hawaiiwildfire.org/home-assessments.
Store flammable materials safety away from the exterior of your home. If it can catch fire, do not let it touch your house. Examples are boxes, brooms.
Prevent accidental ignitions. Keep fire extinguishers where you can easily access them. Keep fire lanes and access points unobstructed to ensure fire trucks can access. Check on elderly neighbors or those who could use a helping hand. Do not use any equipment that may spark. Avoid parking or idling on dry grass.
If strong or gusty winds, hold off on using BBQs and campfires until safer conditions allow, and always put all fires and coals out cold.
You can also get involved in your own community’s firewise efforts. If interested, please call (808) 885-0900 or email to email@example.com