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How to prepare for a wildfire

Two women talking after a wildfire

Wildfires – those raging infernos we see on TV blazing through remote Western forests – are actually more common in populated areas than you might think. According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, 4.5 million U.S. homes were identified at high or extreme risk of wildfire, with more than 2 million in California alone. In recent years, many homes in these areas have become casualties of out-of-control wildfires. That’s why wildfire preparedness is so important.

Check out our tips for reducing your risk from wildfires, then follow the additional wildfire preparedness suggestions below to help keep your home & family safe.

Before a wildfire happens

When there’s a wildfire

If you’re warned of an approaching wildfire or see one coming, round up your family to be sure everyone is accounted for, then:

If you’re in a car

If you’re outside in the open

After a wildfire

More wildfire resources

Regional Wildfire Mitigation Guides

Wildfire risks can vary from region to region. To help property owners better understand their risks and how to mitigate them, the Institute for Business and Home Safety developed these regional guides.

Central U.S. (IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, MO, NE, OH)


Great Lakes (MI, MN, WI)

Mid-Atlantic & Northeast (CT, DE, ME, MD, NH, NY, PA, RI, WV, VT, VA)

Pacific Northwest (ID, Northern CA, OR, WA)

Rocky Mountain (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY)

Southern California

Southeast (AL, AR, GA, MS, NC, SC, TN)

Southwest (AZ, NM, NV, OK, TX)

Cost Estimate Guide

The checklist below will help you assess the vulnerability of your property and its surroundings to wildfire. After you assess your risk, use the action and cost sections prioritize ways to protect your home or business.

Wildfire Cost & Action Guide

Wildfire Brochures

A quick reference guide to creating defensible space and mitigating wildfire risk around your home or business. 

Reducing Wildfire Risk for Homeowners

Reducing Wildfire Risk for Businessowners

Reducing Wildfire Risk for Service Stations

Reducing Wildfire Risk for Farm and Ranch

Wildfire Video

Find out how wildfire embers can ignite your home in a video from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.

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