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Emergency Preparation

Who needs to prepare for an emergency?

A disaster may require you to evacuate quickly. You can prepare for such an emergency evacuation.

Taos is in a dry climate and getting dryer as the climate changes. People who live surrounded by trees, grassland, or sagebrush should prepare for wildfire. This preparation includes 'fire smart' landscaping to reduce the chance that your residence will burn in a wildfire and preparation for an evacution.

Floods are not common here, but climate change makes the weather more extreme, even if rain is less frequent.

Emergency Evacuation

In case of an emergency you may need to leave your house with very short notice. There are two things you can do now to prepare for an emergency evacuation: have a 'Go Bag' in your car or by the door and make a list of essentials that can can collect in ten minutes before you leave.

AARP has useful information called Operation Emergency Prepare.

Go Bag

A 'Go Bag' or 'Bug Out Bag' or 'Grab and Go Kit' is an easily-carried bag of previously-packed essentials that will keep you for a couple of days. This bag is either in your car or by the door, so you will have it if you have to leave immediately. Here are some ideas for your Go Bag:

Fire smart Landscaping

A fire smart landscape isn’t necessarily the same thing as a well-maintained yard. This type of landscape uses fire-resistant plants that are strategically planted to resist the spread of fire to your home. Fire resistant plants are great because they are often drought tolerant, too.

The good news is, you don’t need a lot of money to make your landscape fire smart. And you will find that a fire smart landscape can increase your property value and conserve water while beautifying your home.

  • Choose Fire-Resistant Plants and Materials
  • Create fire-resistant zones with stone walls, patios, decks and roadways.
  • Use rock, mulch, flower beds and gardens as ground cover for bare spaces and as effective firebreaks.
  • There are no “fire-proof” plants. Select high-moisture plants that grow close to the ground and have a low sap or resin content.
  • Select fire-resistant shrubs such as hedging roses, bush honeysuckles, currant, cotoneaster, sumac and shrub apples.
  • Plant hardwood, maple, poplar and cherry trees that are less flammable than pine, fir and other conifers.
  • Check your local nursery, landscape contractor or county’s Cooperative Extension service for advice on fire-resistant plants that are suited for your area.

This video is from California, but most of it is directly applicable: