Preparing for Disaster

, Posted: Wed, July 30 2014 at 6:33 PM, Updated: Thu, July 31 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Ashland, Ore -- 1,400 homes in and around Ashland are in a mapped wildfire hazard area.

   With dry conditions, more lightning in the forecast and 6 small fires still burning in the Ashland watershed, Ashland Fire and Rescue is asking people to plan ahead.

    A fire can can go from a spark to a massive blaze in just moments, especially in Ashland where conditions have been exceptionally dry. There are steps you can take to be prepared.

  "If the fire starts anywhere over there, it's going to go right up that hill," said Ashland resident Barney Spera.     
   Overlooking the hills of West Ashland, Spera says he's ready to defend his home in case of a wild fire. 

   "I have a clearance there of at least 30 or 40 feet, between myself and the park there and I keep that cleared," said Spera.   
   If given the order to evacuate, Spera and other homeowners say they don't have a specific plan in place.

    "I'm not as organized as I should be where I can have all my documents in one case or something which would be great," said Spera.     

    "Grab all my three daughters, and my dog, if I have 15 minutes, maybe I'd have time to grab a photo album," said Michelle Schmeling.
   In the midst of impossibly dry conditions and the summer heat Ashland fire is asking residents to be ready wildfire, or not.
   "We could have a disaster at any time, right now it's the season for wildfire, and we just saw in Josephine county that the wildfire went from tiny to a couple hundred acres, very very quickly," said Margueritte Hickman of Ashland Fire and Rescue.

Ashland Fire recommends:

- Plan a meeting place for family if you're not able to meet at home.

- Keep your gas tank full if you have a car.

- Know where to get information about the disaster.

-Have an emergency supply kit for you, your family and your pets.

   "The kinds of things we're talking about is a little bit of food, some water, maybe some first aid stuff, anything that's personal, like medications," said Hickman.

    Advice residents like Barney Spera say they will take to heart.

    "Good advice to people, to have it all in one place where you can grab a hold of it and leave the house with it," said Spera.
   That advice could make the difference and save you and your loved ones lives.

    For more information on how you can protect yourself visit the government's resource on Disaster Preparedness,

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