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Tips for surviving a forest fire

If you’re trapped in a wildfire, here’s how to keep yourself and your family safe.

Do you know how to stay safe during a wildfire?

While wildfires are most common in hot, dry areas, they can happen anytime, anywhere. That’s why it’s important to follow these wildfire safety tips to prepare. But, if you do become trapped in your home, car, or outside during a forest fire, you can protect yourself. Here’s how:

What to do if you’re at home during a wildfire

  • Stay calm and stay together.
  • Call 911 and let them know where you are.
  • Fill your sinks and bathtubs with cold water.
  • Keep your doors and windows shut, but don’t lock them.
  • Remove any window coverings and move fabric-covered furniture away from windows and sliding doors.
  • Use hoses or sprinklers to wet your roof, walls, and the ground around your home, if you can do it safely.
  • Stay inside and away from windows and exterior walls.

What to do if you’re in a car

  • Stay calm.
  • Park as far away from trees, brush and other vegetation as you can.
  • Close all windows and air vents.
  • Get down and lie on the floor.
  • Cover yourself with a blanket or coat.
  • Call 911 and let them know where you are.
  • Stay in your car.

What to do if you’re outside in a forest fire

  • Stay calm.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with wet cloth.
  • Put a body of water between you and the fire.
  • Go to an area without vegetation - find a ditch or low spot in the ground if you can.
  • Lie face down and cover your body with things like wet clothing, soil, or mud.
  • Call 911 and let them know where you are.
  • Stay down until the fire passes.

Wildfires spread quickly, so it’s important to know how to protect yourself and your family. And, remember to protect your home too, by making sure your insurance coverageup to date.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates) is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites hyperlinked from this page. State Farm has no discretion to alter, update, or control the content on the hyperlinked, third party site. Access to third party sites is at the user's own risk, is being provided for informational purposes only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any of the products which may be referenced on such third party sites.

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