According to reliable reports, extreme temperatures through much of June will yield an above average risk of wildfire in many parts of the US. The 2009 season spawned 78,792 wildfires, affecting nearly six million acres of wild lands. This year, wildfires have already claimed much of Arizona and parts of New Mexico, damaging more than 1.7 million combined acres.
While it’s too early to predict 2011 numbers, we do know that wildfires are likely to occur and it’s wise to prepare. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Alert your people – Your plan should include a notification solution that lets you communicate with employees, partners and customers, even if phone lines are taken down by fire
- Prepare your messages – Don’t get caught trying to craft a meaningful message in the midst of a stressful situation
- Reach people wherever they are – Modern notification solutions let you send a message that will reach anyone, anywhere, no matter what kind of communication device they are using
- Target alerts by location – Use the GIS to send a message to just your people that could be impacted by a fire and don’t distract those who are nowhere near the path of danger
- Get your contact data up-to-date – Check your recipient lists to make that all is up-to-date so when a fire threatens, you know that alerts will be delivered to the right person on the right device
- Train your people and test your systems – Rehearse with your team so they know to react swiftly if they get an alert. Make sure they know how to respond, and of course, practice an evacuation at least once a year
While you’re at it, plan now on how to resume operations as quickly as possible after a wildfire disrupts your business and you’ll get things on track that much faster.