Does your family know what to do in a fire emergency?

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Families had little time to grab what they needed many left with nothing more than the clothes on their back. (KFSN)

When the recent wildfires sparked in Northern California families had little time to grab what they needed many left with nothing more than the clothes on their back.

Most families do not realize you may only have two minutes to escape your home if it is on fire.

This week several residents were got off guard when the fire reached their neighborhoods and they were forced to flee in the middle of the night.

"You look at Santa Rosa that was not a wilderness community, that was urban-suburban territory, concrete sidewalks and hotels, and businesses. I'm sure a lot of those people hadn't anticipated a wildfire burning through their civilized community," said Jessica Piffero.

It is just the beginning of California's fall fire season and it could prove to be one of the most destructive yet and that is why experts like Jessica Piffero with the American Red Cross stress having a plan in place before a natural disaster hits close to home. It starts with having a survival kit -- you can make your own or purchase one from the Red Cross's online store.

"You want to make sure you have everything you need for about three days for survival, if you have to evacuate your home for a disaster, food, and water for everyone in your family, important paperwork family heirlooms and copies of family photographs," said Piffero.

California counties and agencies use different methods to warn residents of impending dangers like wildfires. The Fresno County Sheriff's office is now able to send evacuation information to your phone in a matter of seconds.

"What we will want to be able to do is have people get the information no matter where they are so if it's checking an email, checking a text, receiving a phone call. We want all those avenues open so they can be notified," said Tony Botti.

Related Topics:
societyfire safetyhealthfire escapeCalifornia

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