Wildfire Prep Checklist: Home and Family

July 2024

Two parents and two children review an evacuation plan near wildfire emergency supplies

Plan and Prepare Before Wildfires Start

It's important to be prepared before wildfire season starts so you are ready to jump into action if necessary. Make a plan and practice it with your household so everyone knows what they need to do in a wildfire situation.

Here are some steps you can take to get ready:

  • Organize a communication plan, including designating a household meeting point and an out-of-town emergency contact.
  • Build a wildfire emergency kit with the Five P's of Evacuation in mind: People and pets, Prescriptions, Papers, Personal Needs, Priceless items.
  • Establish emergency and evacuation plans.
  • Join email or text alert systems for emergency notifications.
  • Stay tuned to official sources for weather updates, emergency instructions, and evacuation orders.
  • Download our helpful Wildfire Emergency Planner to stay organized and keep track of information.

Read More: 4 Steps to Prepare for a Wildfire—Before It Starts

A man with a water hose power washing the roof and siding of a house

Perform Basic Preventative Maintenance

Regular cleaning and maintenance around your home and property can help reduce the risk of wildfire damage.

Here are 7 tasks to include in your wildfire preparation to-do list:

  • Clean roofs and gutters.
  • Replace any loose or missing shingles or roof tiles to prevent ember penetration.
  • Repair damaged or loose window screens and any broken windows.
  • Enclose eaves, fasciae, soffits, and vents to keep embers out.
  • Protect attachments like decks, porches, and patios from ember exposure.
  • Do not connect wooden fencing directly to structures.
  • Keep firewood and propane storage tanks away from structures.

Read More: 7 Home Maintenance Tasks to Prevent Wildfire Damage

A man using a hand-held brush trimmer to shorten tall grass around the perimeter of his property

Create Defensible Space Around Your Home and Property

Having "defensible space" means that you have created a properly maintained buffer between your property and the area surrounding it. This helps prevent or inhibit wildfires from reaching your house or other structures on your property.

There are three zones of defensible space surrounding your property, ranging from 0–30 feet from your home up to 100–200 feet away. Depending on the zone, here are some actions that can help create defensible space:

  • Mowing tall grass
  • Removing leaves, dead vegetation, and heavy accumulation of fallen branches and landscape debris
  • Pruning tree branches and removing branches overhanging structures
  • Making "fuel breaks" like driveways, gravel walkways, and lawns

Read More: Protect Your Property from Wildfires with Defensible Space

Close up of two hands pointing to a home’s location on a wildfire evacuation map

Prepare to Evacuate if Necessary

If you receive an order to evacuate due to a nearby wildfire, it's important to leave as soon as possible to keep everyone safe. Here are some important wildfire evacuation tips to remember:

  • Bring only the essentials with you—including a wildfire emergency kit that is easy to transport.
  • Make sure you have a plan for evacuating people with disabilities and others with access or functional needs, as well as pets, service animals, and livestock.
  • Exit using your community's evacuation route, but know another way out, as well, in case roads are blocked.
  • Notify your out-of-town contact where you're going and when you've arrived. Keep their contact information—and your evacuation routes—in your Wildfire Emergency Planner.

Read More: Wildfire Evacuation Tips


Additional Resources

The Mutual of Enumclaw Wildfire Program is a service provided to member's with Homeowners (HO-3 and HO-5) or Farm Property coverage.

We do not consider wildfire risk mitigation actions for our eligibility or rating plan. Mutual of Enumclaw uses a third-party vendor to assess wildfire risk and members can impact their score by clearing vegetation in the area surrounding the property. This can be done directly by the policyholder on their property and at the community level, such as through NFPA’s Firewise Community program.

The information we share on our site is intended to serve as a general overview. Please refer to your policy or contact your local independent agent for specific coverage details.


Wildfire protection is part of the policy.

The Mutual of Enumclaw Wildfire Program and our partnership with Wildfire Defense Systems, Inc. (WDS) were created to help protect your property, at no additional cost to you.

Wildfire Prep Tips