NFPA and State Farm® Announce Recipients of Wildfire Community Preparedness Day Project Grants
Preparing Homes and Communities for the 2021 Wildfire Season
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and State Farm are helping communities take steps toward safety with their national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day (Preparedness Day) event on Saturday, May 1, 2021. Last year, 58,950 wildfires burned over 10.2 million acres of land in the United States, resulting in loss of homes, business, and even lives.
Preparedness Day encourages people and organizations to come together on a single day to take action to raise awareness and reduce wildfire risks, and it provides a platform to share information and offer guidance to residents as they make changes to improve the survival of their homes and neighborhoods. Thanks to support from State Farm, 150 grant recipients across 24 states will receive project funding awards of $500 each to support their wildfire mitigation activities on Preparedness Day. See the list of winners.
Over the past decade, the U.S. has witnessed a steady rise in wildfire activity. Experts predict this trend will continue. Despite the $2 to $3 billion per year to support wild land fire suppression efforts, the number of homes lost in wildfires per year has increased by more than 160 percent.
Wildfire risk exists in all 50 states. There is still time to make homes and communities safer from wildfire. NFPA and State Farm encourage people to get involved by planning a project and participating on May 1. Take the first step with the help of the free NFPA Wildfire Community Preparedness Day Toolkit. NFPA suggests a three-stage process to reduce wildfire fuel and fashion a buffer around property. To create defensible space and reduce your risk:
- Raking and removing pine needles and dry leaves within a minimum of 3 to 5 feet of a home’s foundation. As time permits, continue up to a 30-foot distance around the home. Dispose of collected debris in appropriate trash receptacles.
- Cleaning pine needles from roof and gutters and paying attention to maintaining the home ignition zone.
- Getting out your measuring tape and seeing how close wood piles are located to the home. If closer than 30 feet, they need to be relocated and moved at least 30’ away from structures.
- Sweeping porches and decks clearing them of leaves and pine needles. Raking under decks, porches, sheds and play structures.
- Removing items stored under decks and porches and relocating them to a storage shed, garage, or basement. Gasoline cans and portable propane tanks should never be stored indoors and should be located away from the home.
- Posting and sharing Facebook and Twitter messages with tips and best practices with others in your community. (See sample posts from NFPA here.)
State Farm also recommends policyholders:
- Review your insurance policy to make sure you’re covered in the event of a wildfire
- Create a home inventory to assist in the claims process
- Create a disaster preparedness plan that includes your pets and animals
For more resources and information about national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day including videos and tip sheets, visit www.wildfireprepday.org.
Every year, wildfires burn across the U.S. More and more people are living in wildfire risk areas. If one home is inadequately prepared, the risk level to the entire neighborhood increases, and everyone’s safety is impacted. Help reduce your community’s wildfire risk. Join others and commit a couple hours or an entire day to preparedness.
Learn more about the 2021 Wildfire Community Preparedness Day and how you can make a difference!
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