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Emergency Preparation in Tompkins County, New York


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Residential Fire | Forest Fire

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In the past:

From July 1, 1992 to June 30, 2003, the Tompkins County Chapter of the American Red Cross responded to 258 fires in Tompkins county. This made up 83.8% of the total disaster responses the Chapter responded to.

Notable historical fires in Tompkins County include:

Risk to Tompkins County residents

Home fires are the most common disaster in the United States. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the USA every 20 seconds, and in the year 2002, 2,670 people were killed in home fires! Tompkins County is no exception: residential fires are all too common.

There are many ways to reduce your risk of a house fire, including proper maintenance of chimneys and furnaces, as well as proper storage of chemicals. Reducing injury and property loss in the event of a fire can be achieved with smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and escape plans.

How to prepare

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Forest Fire

In the past:

Wildfires are rare in Tompkins County. Thanks mainly to population distribution, any forest fires could be spotted and dealt with quickly. There have been no serious forest fires on record for many years.

Risk to Tompkins County residents:

Risks of wildfires vary, depending on weather conditions. If the spring and summer have been dry, the risk for wildfire is high. Additionally, your personal risk will be higher if your home is located in a forest or wooded area.

Most wildfires occur because of careless human behavior: throwing a lit cigarette out the car window, where it could ignite dry leaves by the roadside, not extinguishing campfires properly, not keeping an eye on fires, and so on. Of course, lightning is another cause of wildfires, but four out of five forest fires are caused by humans. Please take great care with fire when in the woods!

How to prepare:


Additional Resources

Residential fire:

National Disaster Education Coalition Guide to residential fire prevention and safety.

American Red Cross - fire safety advice.

The US fire Administration - Protecting Your Family From Fire

The National Fire Protection Association - A good source for more information, news, codes, and more.

Forest Fire:

National Disaster Education Coalition - Guide to wildfire safety and preparedness.

American Red Cross - advice on wildfires prevention and preparation.

The National Fire Protection Association - A good source for more information, news, codes, and more.

Fire-Safe Landscaping Can Save Your Home," a fact sheet from the United States Fire Administration.

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