With hundreds of miles of scrub brush and canyons rimmed with homes and businesses, it takes mere moments for an ember to jump a road or race up or down a hillside, putting dozens or thousands of structures — and people — at risk.
Should you get the call to leave your home, it is crucial to have a thorough and swift evacuation plan at the ready. Moreover, if your power is turned off — as has been happening with more frequency in Southern California — it is imperative to take the necessary steps to ensure you are ready for any circumstance.
If forced to evacuate your home during a wildfire, experts urge us to remember the six P’s:
- People and pets
- Papers, phone numbers and important documents
- Prescriptions, vitamins and eyeglasses
- Pictures and irreplaceable memorabilia
- Personal computer hard drives and disks
- Plastic (credit or debit cards) and cash
“Maintaining a good supply of nutritious food items, such as cans of beans, bags of dried beans and lentils, is very important in an emergency situation,” says Dr. Angie Neison, a family medicine doctor with Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group, and an expert in culinary medicine. “They can be supplemented by canned vegetables, nuts, seeds and dried fruit.”
Other shelf-stable items that should be part of your pantry, says Dr. Neison, include:
- Whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, bulgar or farro
- Nut butters, such as peanut butter, almond butter and tahini
- Whole-grain crackers
- Coconut milk
- High-fiber, low-sugar snack bars
Learn more about building a wildfire action plan, and the importance of preparing your pets for emergencies.