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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Monday, April 1, 2013

Dry California Winter Threatens to Bring More Severe Wildfires

A dry winter throughout California has officials fearing that the 2013 wildfire season could arrive early and have more severe impacts.


Already the state has had to battle early wildfires, including a fire in Riverside County on February 28 that nearly caused significant damage to homes along the Santa Ana River.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), many areas throughout California, particularly in Southern California, are well below the average rainfall for this time of the year. For example, San Diego has less than 68 percent of their average rainfall, while Ramona has only 54 percent of their average rainfall for this time of the year.

Determine what you need to do to prepare your home for wildfire season and reduce your property’s risks using the Wildfire Home Assessment and Checklist made available by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS). The checklist offers guidance to identify possible wildfire risks, and resources on how to build defensible space on your property. In addition, the checklist also provides a cost estimator that helps you prioritize which actions will work within your budget.

IBHS wildfire resources are available at DisasterSafety.org. Specific resources include:

- IBHS Wildfire Home Assessment & Checklist

- IBHS Wildfire Brochures: Residential, Farms and Ranches, Commercial

- Wildfire Retrofit Guide – Pacific Northwest Edition

- Wildfire Retrofit Guide – Southern California Edition

Also, IBHS conducted the first-ever indoor ember storm in 2011 at the IBHS Research Center in South Carolina. You can watch video of the test- Wildfire Ember Storm: here.

IBHS is a leading national expert with respect to preparing for – and repairing and rebuilding structures after – a catastrophe to make them more disaster-resistant. Visit DisasterSafety.org for more information about how to make your buildings more resistant to a variety of disasters, big and small. Follow IBHS on Twitter at @DisasterSafety and on Facebook.

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About the IBHS - IBHS is an independent, nonprofit, scientific research and communications organization supported by the property insurance industry. The organization works to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other risks on residential and commercial property by conducting building science research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparedness practices.

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