March 16, 2020 – In the last two years, wildfires have claimed more than 100 lives and cost more than $25 billion in property losses. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and State Farm are helping communities take steps toward safety with their national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day (Preparedness Day) event on Saturday, May 2, 2020.
Preparedness Day plays an important role in helping to raise awareness of wildfire risk, and provides a platform to share information and offer guidance to residents as they make changes to improve the survival of their homes and neighborhoods. Thanks to generous support from State Farm, 150 communities across 26 states will receive project funding awards of $500 each to support activities on Preparedness Day aimed at reducing potential loss of life, property, and natural resources to wildfire. See the list of winners.
“Since NFPA and State Farm first partnered together on Preparedness Day, the number of projects has grown tremendously. We are pleased to provide 150 communities with a grant to fund their wildfire risk reduction activities on May 2,” said Vickie Hodges, P&C underwriting analyst, State Farm. “For State Farm, the largest home insurer in the U.S., it is important to us to take a leadership role in helping homeowners stay safe and better protect their property.”
Over the last few years wildfire events have made the need for Preparedness Day more important than ever before. In 2018, nearly all of the $13 billion in property damage and losses from large fire incidents in the U.S. was due to just six wildfires. As annual federal spending for wildfire management has gone from roughly $1 billion per year in the mid-1990’s to close to $4 billion per year today, the average annual area burned from wildfires has jumped from about two million to eight million acres over the same period.
“Since our initial launch of Preparedness Day in 2013, participation in the campaign has grown,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “Taking action on Preparedness Day can help make a difference in the survival of home and neighborhoods. We are inspired by all of the great work these communities are doing to reduce their risk.”
There is still time to make homes and communities safer from wildfire. NFPA and State Farm encourage people to get involved by planning a project and participating on May 2. Plan a project with the help of NFPA’s free Wildfire Community Preparedness Day Toolkit.
For more information about national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day including videos and tip sheets, visit http://www.wildfireprepday.org.
For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.