Home Hardening Webinar
Home hardening and preparing for evacuation may sound intimidating and costly, but the panel of experts brought together by GDRA’s board and staff for a webinar on the topic did an excellent job of making it accessible. Bob Womack, Truckee’s Emergency Manager, outlined the evacuation process. Knowing your zone is key; visit community.zonehaven.com to see yours. During the webinar, national fire safety and materials expert Daniel Gorham spoke about how you can be selective in choosing different materials for enhanced fire resistance. Darcey Messner from the Town of Truckee covered permitting details, including the WUI checklist. Nate Christensen from Tahoe Donner’s forestry program reiterated the importance of defensible space, and how you’ll want to swap your yard’s wood chips for gravel next time you’re in landscaping mode. Adrian Juncosa, our board vice president, covered home hardening upgrades. For instance, you don’t need to swap out an entire wooden fence, instead just exchange the 5 feet closest to the house for metal.
It is reassuring how small improvements to how we take care of our homes can increase the chances of making it through a wildfire event with minimal damage. Just look at photos of the aftermath of the Camp Fire to understand that homes that underwent some measure of hardening stood a much better chance of surviving than those that didn’t.
Living in the wildland urban interface, the threat of wildfire is a fact of life. Those of us that live here know that with the great beauty that surrounds us comes great responsibility, both for our natural surroundings and for our neighbors. This year especially, our awareness is heightened, and every red flag day puts us a little more on alert. Perhaps those are the best days to do a little something extra, like sweep pine needles off our deck and roof, and ask a neighbor if they want help trimming bushes. If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that the only way we’re going to get through times like this is together.
To watch the full webinar and learn more, visit: https://vimeo.com/569108043 (