QUIZ: Should I stay or go?
Even if you have a prepared shelter, wildfires can be noisy, dark, incredibly hot, and very scary. Wildfire fatalities most commonly occur when people leave their homes too late and are overtaken by fire. If you are thinking that sheltering in place might be for you, take the Quiz below to assess your preparedness. If you answer “No” to any of the questions, plan to evacuate early.
The quiz below was designed for Rancho Santa Fe fire safe communities, where the whole community was built with fire protection in mind. Homes have boxed in heavy timber or ignition resistant eaves with no vents, residential fire sprinklers, adequately wide 2-way roadways and driveways, good water supply and water flow, 100 ft defensible space throughout the whole community, dual paned windows throughout, with one of the panes being tempered glass, etc.
Questions to consider about whether to stay or go for Rancho Santa Fe residents, and for you if you have a truly effective shelter. (Questions are based on people sheltering during the fire front itself, and then staying in the aftermath to put out spot fires.)
- Are you physically fit to fight spot fires in and around your home for up to 10 hours or more?
- Are you and your family members mentally, physically, and emotionally able to cope with the intense smoke, heat, stress and noise of a wildfire while defending your home?
- Can you protect your home while also caring for members of your family, pets, etc.?
- Do you have the necessary resources, training, and properly maintained equipment to effectively fight a fire?
- Does your home have defensible space of at least 100 feet and is it cleared of flammable materials and vegetation?
- Is your home constructed of ignition-resistant materials?
If you answered “No” to any of these questions, then plan to evacuate early.