Wildfires can happen anytime with no warning, and they spread incredibly fast. However, according to FEMA and the American Red Cross, there are several things you can do to prepare yourself should a wildfire break out in your area.
Do not make the mistake of thinking you can hide from the fire -- even if you have a basement, a pool, a concrete house. You still have to breathe, and smoke and super-heated air -- which you can't avoid in a fire zone -- kill more people than do actual flames.
Think some precious family photos will slow you down in an emergency, because you just can't bear to see those memories lost? Get smart: Buy or borrow a scanner and scan all of your photos and other important documents into your computer. Save them to CDs or DVDs and store those at the bank or with another family member, and/or upload the data to any one of a number of online storage services, such as Flickr.com, PhotoBucket.com or SmugMug.com. (Scanning and uploading also offers a great way to share these irreplaceable images with family members around the world.)
But most important of all: Remember that nothing -- nothing -- is more important to save than lives. We come into the world without any stuff, and go out of the world without any stuff... so don't let the worry of losing that "stuff" put you in the position of losing your life.
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