Coconino County is launching a proactive and collaborative fire preparedness program between local, state and federal governmental agencies focusing on the importance of wildland fire danger. The unusually dry winter and warm temperatures could bring an early start to Arizona’s wildfire season increasing the threat to the safety of residents, visitors and property.
The Ready, Set, Go! (RSG) program educates residents about proactive measures to take before an emergency, such as proper waste management, and actions to follow when communities are threatened. The County adopted the three tenets to encourage citizens to get ready by preparing now for what threatens their community, be set by maintaining awareness of significant danger and to go, or evacuate immediately when the danger is current and life-threatening.
“Fire and post wildfire flooding are the number one danger to the safety of residents and property in Coconino County, especially after this extremely dry winter,” said Chairman Matt Ryan. “It’s important that citizens are prepared and ready to protect themselves this upcoming fire season. Signing up for the County’s emergency notification system and contacting your local fire department or fire district for information about wildland fire threat is key to staying informed and safe.”
This program has also been adopted by the Coconino County Sheriff and the Arizona Sheriff’s Association.
The Ready, Set, Go! program highlights actions residents should take during each step:
READY: “Prepare now”
- Be aware of hazards that can threaten your community.
- Register for the Coconino County emergency notification system (see below).
- Create defensible space around your home by keeping grass mowed short and trimming vegetation.
- Build an emergency supplies kit. Start with the five P’s: people and pet supplies, prescriptions, papers, personal needs and priceless items.
SET: "Be alert”
- There is significant danger in your area.
- Consider voluntarily relocating to a shelter or with family/friends outside of the affected area.
- This might be the only notice you receive.
- Danger in your area is current and life-threatening.
- Evacuate immediately to a shelter or to family/friends outside the affected area.
- Follow instructions from emergency personnel, and stay on designated evacuation routes.
The Ready, Set, Go! program started in March 2011, when the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) aimed to improve the dialogue between fire departments and the residents they serve.