While Utah is recovering from wildfires this year, many people are educating themselves on how they can be ready for future fires.
“We’ve seen a lot of people having to evacuate their homes from these wildfires this year, probably more than ever before,” said Wade Matthews, Manager for the Utah Division of Emergency Management.
According to Wade, Utah has among the highest levels of personal preparedness in the nation, and that it is usually the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and its culture that teaches people to participate in many outdoor activities, which requires them to have survival supplies on hand.
But not everyone agreed with Matthews. When I asked a couple of preparedness instructors from the state what they thought in regards to how prepared people were for wildfires this year, I got the following answers:
“I don’t think anybody is ever prepared for fires,” said Robyn Frederickson, Emergency Preparedness coordinator for Tooele County.
“It’s a hard thing, you know. It’s not really something that you expected to happen all the time,” said Ryan Mosley, call-taker for the Valley Emergency Communications.
“Believe it or not, a lot of people were not prepared,” said Utah Fire Corps member, Laura Reed.
This past weekend, Sandy had its annual Utah Prepare Conference and Exposition fair. There, a few tips for how to best prepare for a fire were shared.
“It’s very important to have a disaster kit together,” said Reed.