Be ready for wildfires with community alerts, evacuation routes, and family plans.
Wildfire preparedness can affect exposure and susceptibility. Explore your community’s risk.
About Community Wildfire Preparedness
It is important to be ready for wildfire long before it happens. This includes preparation in the home ignition zone, as well as assembling emergency supplies, planning escape routes, and leaving early during a wildfire. In many communities, residents can sign up for early warning systems. Communities can also prepare for wildfire through development of Community Wildfire Protection Plans, purchasing equipment, and scenario simulation for various types of fires.
Wildfire Preparedness has three steps:
Be alert. Prepare your home and family for evacuation. Create a wildfire action plan and prepare an emergency kit. Subscribe to community alerts.
Act early. Follow your wildfire action plan, gather your emergency supplies, and leave early.
Community Mitigation Assistance Team (CMAT)
Community Mitigation Assistance Teams are a national interagency resource designed to work collaboratively with local partners to build sustainable mitigation programs focused on community fire adaptation actions on the ground. A CMAT works with communities at high risk of wildfire to analyze their mitigation programs and barriers, develop workable solutions to help move mitigation forward, share best mitigation practices for achieving outcomes, and build successful partnerships.
Disaster Safety features projects to help home and business owners protect their property from damage caused by wildfire and other natural disasters. This site is a product of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)—a nonprofit, scientific research and communications organization supported solely by property insurers and reinsurers.
Federal Excess Personal Property Program & Firefighter Property Program
The Federal Excess Personal Property (FEPP) program loans Forest Service-owned property to State Foresters for the purpose of wildland and rural firefighting.
FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program
The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) manages several grant opportunities for wildfire in their Hazard Mitigation Assistance program. The Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program is awards planning and project grants to assist states, territories, federally-recognized tribes, and local communities in implementing a sustained pre-disaster natural hazard mitigation program to raise public awareness about reducing future losses before disaster strikes.
Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network
The Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network connects and supports people and communities who are striving to live more safely with wildfire. The purpose of FAC Net is to exchange information, collaborate to enhance the practice of fire adaptation, and work together and at multiple scales to help communities live safely with fire. This includes embracing resiliency concepts and taking action before, during and after wildfires. They offer a Fire Adapted Communities Self-Assessment Tool (FAC SAT) to help communities assess their level of fire adaptation and track their capacity to live safely with fire over time
Hispanic Access Foundation Wildfire Toolkit
Latino communities are more vulnerable to experiencing the adverse effects of wildfires. The Hispanic Access Foundation Wildfire Toolkit provides resources about regulations and policies, public and mental health, and response and recovery issues to help communities address Latino considerations related to wildfire.
NACo County Wildfire Playbook
The National Association of Counties (NACo) produced this county leadership guide to help communities become more fire adapted and learn to live with wildland fire. The playbook has been designed by county commissioners, for county commissioners, as they endeavor to fortify and protect communities from high severity impacts of wildland fire.
Ready, Set, Go!
The Ready, Set, Go! (RSG) Program seeks to empower fire departments to engage the residents they serve in wildland fire community risk reduction. The RSG! Program provides tools and resources for fire departments to use as they help residents gain an understanding of their wildland fire risk and actions individuals can take to reduce that risk. The RSG! Program is managed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC).
Research & Science
- Archetypes of community wildfire exposure from national forests of the western US. Evers CR, Ager AA, Nielsen-Pincus M, Palaiologou P, Bunzel K. (2019). Landscape and Urban Planning, 182, 55-66.
- Co-Management of Fire Risk Transmission (CoMFRT) (n.d.). USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.
- Community wildfire preparedness: a global state-of-the-knowledge summary of social science research. McCaffrey S. (2015). Current Forestry Reports, 1(2), 81-90.
- Capacity to adapt to environmental change: evidence from a network of organizations concerned with increasing wildfire risk. (2017). Fischer AP, Jasny L. Ecology and Society, 22(1).
- Improving wildfire preparedness: lessons from communities across the U.S. Jakes P, Kruger L, Monroe M, Nelson K, & Sturtevant V. (2007). Human Ecology Review, 14(2), 188-197.
- Should I stay or should I go now? Or should I wait and see? Influences on wildfire evacuation decisions. McCaffrey S, Wilson R, & Konar A. (2017). Risk Analysis, 38(7), 1390-1404.
- Understanding wildfire mitigation and preparedness in the context of extreme wildfires and disasters: Social science contributions to understanding human response to wildfire. McCaffrey S, McGee TK, Coughlan M. (2020). In: Tedim F, Leone V, McGee TK, eds. Extreme Wildfire Events and Disasters. Elsevier. 155-174.
- Wildfire Risk Management Science Team. (n.d.). USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.