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Utah Red Cross offers tips to be prepared for flooding and wildfires

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Spring and summer bring a unique set of challenges between potential flooding and the ever-present danger of wildfires. Utah Red Cross joined Good Morning Utah to talk about ways families can be ready to deal with either scenario.

Included below is some of what was discussed:

Flooding

Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Flooding often occurs following a hurricane, thawing snow, or several days of sustained rain. Flash floods occur suddenly, due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area. Learn what to do to keep your loved ones safe!

  • Flood/Flash Flood Watch – flood is possible
  • Flood/Flash Flood Warning – will occur soon or is occurring – Take Precautions
  • Listen to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.
  • Be prepared to evacuate quickly and know your routes and destinations. Find a local emergency shelter.
  • Check your emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply, especially medications or other medical supplies. Keep it nearby.

If there is time

  • Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home.
  • Turn off utilities if told to do so by authorities to prevent damage to your home or within the community. If you shut your gas off, a professional is required to turn it back on.
  • Unplug small appliances to reduce potential damage from power surges that may occur.
  • #TurnAroundDontDrown—Do not go toward flood waters –

Wildfires

If you live in a wildfire-prone area you should follow our tips on how to prepare for wildfire – but also know that prevention is an important part of preparation. Because the “safest” wildfire is one that never starts, here are some tips on how to reduce the chance of wildfire from:

There is a misconception that the risk of wildfire is less with the wet weather we have had, but once the fuels (weeds, bushes and trees) dry out the fire potential can actually be worse due to the current growth that the vegetation is going through.

  • The way we plant and maintain the landscaping around our homes can reduce the chance that a small fire becomes a wildfire.
  • Create a defensible space around your home this slows or stops the spread of fire to your home
  • Choose fire-resistant plants. Consult a landscaper in your area for the best plants
  • Create empty space between shrubs and trees to reduce the chance of flames leaping between them.
  • Prune trees above the height of bushes and shrubs (approximately 6’-10’ off the ground) and remove dead branches.
  • Mow grassy areas regularly so that the grass is never more than 4” high.

Remove dead and dry plants that could fuel a fire, as well as fallen leaves, pine cones, and other dry plant material.

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