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  • Announcement

During Wildfire Prep Month, Michigan homeowners encouraged to follow steps to prepare

While wildfires may not be top of mind for all Michigan homeowners, this month of May is Wildfire Preparedness Month and State Farm reminds homeowners that wildfires can occur at any time, in any state. The National Interagency Fire Center reported 376 wildland or brush fires in Michigan that burned 3,522 acres in 2022. All it takes is one fire to burn out of control for people to lose property, home, or life.

Homeowners are encouraged to take the following key steps before a wildfire to protect home and your property:

• Meet with your insurance agent.

• Create a home inventory.

• Prepare your property.

• Practice evacuation drills.

• Pack an evacuation kit.

Perhaps the most important thing you can do before a fire is talk to your agent and review your homeowners insurance coverage. Make sure to discuss your coverage needs to protect your home and its contents in case of wildfire damage. Additionally, you'll want to make sure you understand the different between market value vs. replacement cost.

  • Market value is the amount a buyer would pay for a home, including the land.

  • Replacement cost for this purpose is the rebuilding cost necessary to repair or replace the entire home.

Create a home inventory

Take digital photos and videos of your property - both inside and outside. You'll want to do a walkthrough in every room. Don't forget to include items in your basement, attic, in drawers, garages, tool sheds, etc. Pay special attention to valuables, like antiques, art, jewelry, collectibles, and electronics.

Wildfire Preparedness

The best way to protect your home from possible wildfire damage is to remove or reduce the potential fuel within a 30-feet safety zone around your home. (If you live in a high-risk area, increase the safety zone to 100 feet).

  • Remove vines from house walls.

  • Remove shrubs and other landscaping away from your house walls.

  • Remove highly flammable and low-branched trees, such as evergreens, eucalyptus and juniper.

  • For remaining trees, remove limbs within 15 feet of the ground.

  • Clear tree debris, such as fallen limbs, leaves, pine needles and cones.

  • Move stacked wood outside the safety zone.

  • Pay special attention to clearing debris beneath decks and other overhangs.

  • Consider removing wooden exterior structures, such as decks and patios, or replacing them with more fire resistant materials.

  • Install non-combustible roofing and siding materials, such as metal, slate or concrete.

  • Clear debris from gutters.

  • Install electrical lines underground, if possible.

  • Maintain a home inventory and review it with your insurance agent yearly to ensure you are properly insured.

For more information on how to prepare or for infographics, please click here.

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