Every community is unique and has different conditions, terrain, indigenous vegetation, evacuation routes and local support facilities. Comprehensive information, relevant to each community, in a user-friendly format has proven to be extremely effective because it motivates residents to read it, retain it and take appropriate action.

In the wake of the wildfires that have decimated entire communities in California, there is a need to inform and educate residents on what they can do to prevent the spread of fires and most important, how to prepare for a disaster and what to do in case of a wildfire. While a lot of information is available from local fire departments and on line, it is generic and not specific to individual communities. This information is collectively found from one source. No one wants a pile of loose fliers, pamphlets and information sheets with irrelevant instructions.

One of the most effective campaigns has been developed for the Fire Safe Council East Orange County Canyons in California. Fire Prevention in the Canyons is a 12-page brochure providing photos and information on local fire prone and fire-resistant vegetation, along with property clearance illustrations and examples in the area. As companion collateral, In Case of Fire….  this 12-page brochure outline how to prepare for disasters including how to evacuate, local escape routes, how to Shelter in Place along with a comprehensive list of resources and links. Because some of our narrow rural roads were overgrown and hampered First Responders access,  an Emergency Access Road Clearance card was created to inform and prompt property owners to take action. This collateral is continually being distributed at all local events and special community meetings, plus it is given out to newcomers in a welcome wagon basket

How can your community provide this type of material to your residents? It starts with interest from an active community organization. It may be your local Fire Safe Council, a Home Owners Association, or other Civic or Business Group that recognizes the importance to the community. Contact a specialist with the experience in developing, designing and producing this type of collateral. I have worked with communities in Orange County, San Diego, Potrero/Tecate, and Tustin to produce effective fire prevention programs and would be glad to answer all of your questions. Your program may include several facets and support elements like a website, email campaign, coordination with local events, etc.

What is the cost of a community wildfire educational campaign? That depends on the program you wish to implement, as every community has different requirements and resources. The actually cost to the community organization may be FREE,  as local sponsors can be solicited to support the program. For more information and how to get started, contact: Tom Smisek CPC email: or call 714-649-2528. #wildfire prevention #wildfire evacuation