R. Ann Parris on Prepping For Fires


Prep for Fires — Now and “After” by R. Ann Parris

Fire is one of the greatest threats we face in any English-reading nations — and most of the others. Housefires occur every single day. Some of them are obvious and painful from the repetitions of “please don’t do this”. Others spring out of a single faulty wire in a lamp or coffee maker, and from someone else’s inattention. Wildfires add to the tolls every years.

There are things we can do, condo or flat, house in the ‘burbs or city verges, or property of double- and single-digit acres.

Fire prevention and response capabilities is even bigger when prepping for emergencies, because so many of our alternatives and backups use fire as a heating and cooking source.

Beyond our own use, more neighbors than ever will be turning to candles and grills in any disaster, and more people can be expected to be at campsites with grills and fires. In some, cascading failures or winds may add additional threats from power lines and various transformers. Meanwhile, hurricane to NWO takeover, tornado to nuclear meltdown, fewer public services will be available, and response times will undoubtedly be longer.

Making sure we reduce our own risks is huge. That means actively eyeballing everything we do, hard, for potential dangers.

And then, planning to have a fire anyway.

Having set family instructions and rally points, plentiful detectors, fire extinguishers, and go bags near exits that include masks and good lights can make a big difference, especially if we have to maneuver through stairs and hallways to get out.

Pets and livestock need conditioned to respond to commands and load or lead.

Property owners have long lists of additional things they can do to prevent fires from spreading to or beyond their homes. They also rely on having things set and ready, and getting notice fast enough.

Everyone needs evacuation and backup plans.

Anything with mechanical parts can fail — regularly at the worst possible time. That means bucket brigades, high-capacity well pumps, and even the guy with everything who has his own foam and water trucks can end up fighting and losing to a fire.

So even the most remote, well set up prepper who never intends to bug out and groups with the “perfect” retreat location need to arrange for evacuation.

The physical steps to leaving the house need practiced, as do the steps to leaving the vicinity. Whether the threat starts as an internal housefire or barn fire, or a wildfire, it can spread. We’ve seen too many repetitions of people dying on roads after tires melt to ignore the possibility of needing an alternative route out.

Or of needing a backup and alternative set of supplies in case our vehicle is compromised without enough time to grab anything.

For most disasters, an easy fix comes from our email and cloud accounts. We can put all sorts of paperwork there for instant retrieval — insurance and account information, contact lists, medical records, adoption and ownership paperwork, even “missing” posters for human and animal family members and the photos and receipts that make dealing with insurance agencies easier.

Ideally, we’ll have some of that same information on removable storage and hard-printed elsewhere as well, just like ideally, we’ll also have an off-site location with tangible supplies.

The latter becomes even more important when we move past preps for slow economic and agricultural collapses and everyday-everywhere disasters like income loss and reduction, storm damage and outages, and big bills.

Fires aren’t new. They’ve ravished isolated tribes and farms throughout history, ancient Rome, 1800s London and Boston and many, many others. They continue to be a threat, daily, both house fires and wildfires.

Fires aren’t going away. If anything, we can anticipate them only increasing.

If we’re putting effort into preparing, isn’t it worth preparing for something that already happens, and can be guaranteed to continue to happen, with the risks only increasing in difficult times?