On September 22, 2023, in Saratoga, California, a momentous announcement reverberated throughout the community as the Santa Clara FireSafe Council unveiled a strategic partnership with the stalwart force of Allied Disaster Defense. Their collective mission: to fortify the homes and communities residing in the perilous Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) regions of Santa Clara County against the ever-looming threat of wildfires. This alliance’s inaugural endeavor commenced with a pilot referral program designed exclusively for homeowners who had previously undergone Home Ignition Zone (HIZ) Assessments conducted by the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council.
Within the realms of wildfire risk mitigation, two paramount steps stood as sentinels against catastrophic loss – the creation of defensible spaces and the implementation of Home Hardening measures, shielding homes and structures from the malevolent triumvirate of flames, heat, and embers.
As per the wisdom shared by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), the Defensible Space served as a vital buffer, a sanctuary between one’s dwelling and the surrounding wilderness, whether in the form of grass, trees, shrubs, or wildlands. This buffer played a dual role: thwarting the wildfire’s advance and safeguarding homes from the perils of embers, direct flames, and radiant heat. It further provided a sanctuary for firefighters to operate effectively in their valiant efforts to protect homes. The Santa Clara County FireSafe Council, in collaboration with homeowners, conducted Hazardous Ignition Zone (HIZ) Assessments, carefully evaluating the defensible space and offering counsel on strategies to reduce wildfire risks.
The endeavor of Wildfire Home Hardening encompassed retrofitting residences with fire-resistant materials and establishing defensible zones around both individual homes and entire communities. Home modifications ranged from replacing standard roofing with metal, clay, or tile, to the installation of ember-resistant vents and metal gutters. Dual-paned windows, fortified with tempered glass, further served as guardians against the fiery onslaught.
Under this newfound partnership, the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council was empowered to refer Allied Disaster Defense to perform follow-up HIZ inspections, along with directing clients interested in home hardening services to Allied, where exclusive promotional packages and pricing awaited. To glean more information on this collaboration, the FireSafe Council page on the Allied Disaster Defense website provided a gateway to knowledge.
Seth Schalet, the CEO of the Santa Clara FireSafe Council, expressed the significance of this alliance, remarking that it expanded the council’s influence in wildfire risk mitigation, offering diverse solutions through a well-established and leading provider of home restoration and hardening services. The council’s goal was to unite the residents of Santa Clara County in a collective effort to shield their homes, communities, and the environment from the ravages of wildfires.
O.P. Almaraz, the visionary CEO and Founder of Allied Disaster Defense, emphasized the strength born from the convergence of two safety-driven organizations. Their alliance signified more than a strategic partnership; it symbolized a resolute commitment to safeguard every home in Santa Clara County’s WUI regions. Through the amalgamation of Allied’s expertise in home hardening and the council’s dedication to defensible spaces, they were forging an impervious future, one residence at a time, constructing a blueprint for a wildfire-resistant world.
About the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council: This 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, with a commendable 20-year legacy, rallied the inhabitants of Santa Clara County to shield their homes, communities, and environment against the relentless threat of wildfires. With partnerships spanning the government, fire service, corporate entities, and WUI residential communities, the SCCFSC had undertaken some of the most intricate hazardous fuel reduction projects in the region. Guided by a board of directors and advisory board boasting expertise in wildfire, environmental research, academia, emergency management, regional planning, technology products, and wildland firefighting, the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council held a unique position to lead cross-sector collaborations, governmental-private alliances in Silicon Valley, Santa Clara County, and beyond. Further information could be found at www.sccfiresafe.org.
About Allied Disaster Defense: Founded with the noble mission of resolving the escalating wildfire crisis, Allied Disaster Defense comprised a workforce that included active and retired Fire Marshals, Foresters, and Disaster Prevention experts. Their holistic approach allowed communities and property owners situated in wildfire hazard zones to proactively secure their homes all year round. This entailed applying long-term fire retardants to the ground, implementing home-hardening measures like ember-resistant vents and gutter guards, and managing vegetation to create an all-encompassing defense against wildfire damage.