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Disaster Preparedness

How to Ensure Employee Safety During a Wildfire

Wildfires move fast, which sometimes leaves little time to safely evacuate. Here’s a look at what you can do to be prepared and keep your employees safe during a wildfire.

Be ready to leave. 

  • You and your team should be prepared to obey evacuation orders from authorities and leave at a moment’s notice.  
  • The Red Cross recommends you back your car into your driveway or garage in the direction of where you will evacuate. 
  • You should put all of your pets in one room so that if you need to leave, you can easily find them all.
  • If there is a wildfire nearby, don’t use anything that burns or adds to indoor pollution. This includes candles, fireplaces and gas stoves.

If you get trapped outdoors in a wildfire, crouch in a pond, river or pool.

  • If there isn’t a body of water near you, find a bed of rocks or a cleared-out area. You should lay flat, face down, and cover your body with soil. 
  • Breathe in the air that’s close to the ground. This can help you avoid damage to your lungs. 
  • Don’t put a wet bandana or clothing on your face. The Red Cross says moist air can cause more damage to your airways than dry air that’s the same temperature.

Don’t go back to your home or business until authorities say it’s safe to do so. 

  • When you return, inspect your roof immediately.
  • Extinguish any sparks or embers. There may be some leftover that could reignite. 
  • Continue to check for smoke, embers and sparks throughout the building, including the attic. 

Read more about how to respond to wildfires from the Red Cross.

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