Benefits of Becoming a Firewise USA ® Community
Your Community Can Benefit From Firewise USA ® Recognition
There are numerous tangible and intangible benefits for residents who live in a recognized Firewise USA ® community.
Framework for Action
The Firewise USA ® program provides your community with a framework for reducing the risk of wildfire. Meeting the criteria for becoming a Firewise USA ® community helps homeowners get organized and find direction for their wildfire safety efforts.
Learn About Wildfire
As neighbors go through the process, they learn about wildfire risks in the community and the simple things they can do to reduce them. They connect with experts – local fire fighters, state forestry professionals, and national researchers – to continue to learn about fire and find resources to accomplish fire-safe actions.
Peace of Mind
People who learn about wildfire risks and take action to protect their homes and community start to see results quickly. Knowing that they are using the best information available and actually taking steps to reduce the risk of damage from fire helps people start to feel safer in their environment and in their homes. Having a plan for what to do in the event of a fire helps people become more prepared to act quickly.
As neighbors get together to do work, often meeting one another for the first time, they build a stronger bond with each other. Activity can help rally people to a common cause for the good of the neighborhood. This strengthening of community ties can benefit residents in many ways, and is especially helpful during an emergency.
While the work can be fun, it is not always easy. Neighbors work very hard in communities to remove brush and debris, clean up common areas, and dispose of green waste. They are rightly proud when they achieve national recognition for their efforts.
The program provides communities with metal signs, a plaque and other materials that can be presented publicly to honor their status as a Firewise USA ® community. These recognition ceremonies are great ways to shine the spotlight on community efforts. News media may find this to be a great story to cover, and the national program features community stories regularly on the website and in its publications. All this publicity results not only in satisfaction for the residents involved, but also provides one more way to reach large numbers of people with information about wildfire safety.
Access to Funding and Assistance
Preference is sometimes given to Firewise USA ® sites over other candidates when allocations of grant money are made for wildfire safety or fuel mitigation. The reason is that there are invariably more requests than available funds when grants are available through state or federal agencies. If requests are equally worthy, some officials tend to have more confidence in communities that have demonstrated the foresight of becoming a recognized Firewise USA site.
Insurance Discount for USAA Members
The California Department of Insurance has approved filings by USAA to give homeowners insurance discounts to USAA members living in communities recognized by the Firewise USA ® program.