Whole Life Magazine

October/November 2019

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Page 8 of 31

October/November 2019 9 Photo: Robert Kerbeck city of angels u Goggles u Firefighter brushland suits (For all protective equipment and clothing listed, there should be a complete set for each person fighting the fire.) u Generator u Wet mops to dampen and "whack" out spot fires (the least expensive item on this list, so buy a few) u Metal trash cans to place around your home and fill with water when a fire threatens in order to battle spot fires (Bonus tip – store all your fire gear inside the trash cans. Use the lids to prevent critters from getting inside.) u Heavy-duty garden hoses with brass fittings (Have multiple ways to fight a fire. I'd keep at least one unused and only for emergencies.) u Heavy-duty pistol grip spray nozzles for garden hoses (Again, I'd keep at least one for emergencies only.) u Ladder to access your roof (Good idea to have two as the intense heat from a fire can melt ladders. I'd have one wood and one fiberglass.) u Food and water for a week (Store extra because you will have guests.) Living in California, for all its beauty and great weather, means being only a natural disaster away from living on the streets. In 2018, California had deadly fires in Malibu and Paradise. In 2017, it was Santa Rosa and Ventura. Four of the ten most destructive fires in the state's history have occurred within the last two years. With climate change, it seems likely California (and other western states) will have more of these extreme fires, not fewer. Experts I interviewed for my book said another critically important action homeowners can do to mitigate their fire risk is to reduce the amount of available fuel. By clearing your brush, you give yourself, your neighbors, and the fire department a fighting chance. I hope you buy the items on this list, but that they are never used. In the case of a fire, however, you will be glad you had them. Robert Kerbeck is an award-winning actor, writer, and author of Malibu Burning: The Real Story Behind LA's Most Devastating Wildfire. Robert is the founder of the Malibu Writers Circle and a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize, a national literary award. He lives in Malibu with his wife and son where he enjoys spending as much time in the ocean as possible.

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