As the world turns
At exactly 12:57 pm this Thursday, March 20, we who live in the northern hemisphere will experience the vernal equinox (better known to you and me as the arrival of spring). Instead of being tilted at 23.4 degrees, the earth’s axis will be perpendicular to the sun during the vernal equinox, and day and night will each be approximately 12 hours long. For the next few months, until fall’s equivalent (the autumnal equinox) in September, we’ll have more daylight than night as the earth continues its annual orbit and we transition into spring and summer – here comes the sun, y’all!
Springing into wildfire season
The arrival of spring is a welcome time for many of us Floridians, most of whom are more than happy to escape the harsh weather of this past winter (ok, it was no polar vortex, but it was still cold!). We’ve experienced our fair share of rain the past few months, but spring, in all of its glory, tends to be the dry season of year for our state – and brings with it the smoldering threat of brush fires and wild fires. Wildfire season safety tips.
As we continue to build more communities in areas that were previously occupied by forests and vegetation, we place ourselves at greater risk for wildfires. Florida is extremely susceptible to this risk – on average, the Sunshine State experiences the second highest number of wildfires in the country.1
Fact: As of March 16, our state has already endured a whopping 550 wildfires in 2014, resulting in more than 8,000 acres burned!
The best offense is a great defense
Experts suggest that you create a defensible zone by maintaining a lean, clean and green landscape within at least 30 feet of your home. 1
- Lean – small amounts of flammable vegetation
- Clean – no accumulations of dead vegetation
- Green – plants are healthy and green; lawn is well irrigated
Fact: In addition to arson, lightning and carelessly discarded cigarette butts, out-of-control debris burns are a leading cause of Florida wildfires.
Are you prepared if an emergency strikes?
Create or review your emergency plan and practice a family fire drill. Hold a meeting with family members to explain what to do and where to go in case of an emergency. Update phone numbers, addresses and contact information, and post emergency information near your phone.
Unfortunately, however, your best fire mitigation efforts may be no match against Mother Nature’s fury. Make sure you have enough Florida homeowners insurance to protect your greatest asset and take an online inventory of your home’s content to expedite the claims process in case the unfortunate occurs.
1Source: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services