The seventh annual Wildfire Community Preparedness Day may have taken place on Saturday, May 2, 2020, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages everyone to recognize all of May as National Wildfire Awareness Month. The annual event is a time when homeowners and businesses alike can take a few simple actions to better protect themselves and ultimately, their communities. 

According to Verisk’s 2019 Wildfire Risk Analysis 4.5 million U.S. homes were identified at high or extreme risk of wildfire, with more than 2 million in California alone. Additionally, as reported in the CNBC article, “A Rising Number of US Companies Are Flagging Wildfire Risk as Suppression Costs Climb,” increased wildfires have forced more corporations to add wildfire risk to their investor disclosures. In fact, the number of S&P 500 firms flagging “wildfire” as a potential risk factor in annual reports has risen over the past decade — from 9 in all of 2010 to 37 as of November 2019. 

While the number of wildfires decreased from 58,083 in 2018 to 50,477 in 2019 (per the National Interagency Fire Center) experts believe that more and more businesses will include the risk in their financials. And, not just those located in fire-prone areas like California. The causes of wildfires, primarily human, can occur in every state, and so we all need to be prepared. 

In observance of National Wildfire Awareness Month 2020, visit the National Interagency Fire Center website to learn more about what you can do to make your property better prepared for a wildfire. Learn more about fire safety and how to take shelter when a wildfire event occurs. Use #NationalWildfireAwarenessMonth to share on social media.