Ready, Set, Go!

About the Initiative

The Ready, Set, Go! program is the result of a nationwide discussion on how to protect homes and lives in what the fire service calls the Wildland-Urban-Interface - where development meets natural vegetation - and the Ember Zone, an area where the wind driven ember fallout from a wildland fire can threaten property and lives. The program was developed for national roll out by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), with support from U.S Forest Service, U.S Fire Administration, Department of the Interior, Firewise and The Insurance Institute for Home Business Safety (IBHS).

The Ready, Set, Go! initiative is a three step process, or action plan, to prepare properties long before a fire is upon you; get set to depart from ones home; and to understand the role of evacuation in our area. The initiative significantly increases the safety of the homeowner and family. Not to mention, it allows the firefighters to best do their job of extinguishing the fire, thus increasing the chance of saving homes and loved ones.


Be ready, be Firewise.Take personal responsibility and prepare long before the threat of a wildland fire. Create defensible space by clearing brush away from your home. Use fire-resistant landscaping and harden your home with fire-safe construction measures. Assemble emergency supplies and belongings in a safe place. Plan escape routes and make sure all those residing within the home know the plan of action.

  • Make a list of your five Ps: People, Pets, Pills, Photos and important Papers
  • Shut off natural gas and propane
  • Place metal (not wooden) ladders against the side of your house
  • If time permits, remove combustibles (patio furniture, firewood, etc.) within 30 feet of your home
  • If you have sprinklers (with adequate water supply), place them around your home, connected and ready to be turned on
  • Put on any protective clothing and gear you are not already wearing
  • Close windows and doors to the house to prevent sparks and embers from blowing inside. Close all doors inside the house to prevent draft.
  • Take down your drapes and curtains and close all blinds to deflect heat
  • Leave exterior and interior lights on to offer visibility to responders
  • Fill all bathtubs, sinks and other containers with water to deflect heat


Situational awareness. Pack your emergency items. Stay aware of the latest news and information on the fire from local media, your local fire department and public safety.

  • Take a deep breath and remember your plan. Lives always take priority over property
  • Face your car toward the street and close all windows. Keep the keys handy
  • Load your 5Ps into the car
  • Wear protective clothing made of natural fabrics such as heavy denim, cotton, and pure wool to shield you from heat, embers and flames. Wear sturdy shoes, a long-sleeved shirt tucked into pants, hat, and a handkerchief. Have thick canvas or leather gloves, and light-colored goggles on ready
  • As you leave, post a visible form of notification that identifies that you have evacuated. Hang a white cloth at the end of your driveway. If you have time, write “evacuated” on it.


Act early! Follow your personal wildland fire action plan. Doing so will not only support your safety, but will allow firefighters to best maneuver resources to combat the fire.

  • Tune in to the local news radio station and listen for instructions
  • Obey orders of law enforcement and fire department officials
  • Follow the emergency instructions regarding evacuation routes. Your normal route may not be the safest.
  • Drive with your headlights on for visibility and safety
  • Do not block access to roadways for emergency vehicles or other evacuees
  • Do not abandon vehicles on the roadway
  • Do not stop to let pets have a break
  • Drive calmly, obey the rules of the road and pay special attention to fire trucks