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Michele Steinberg
Quincy, Massachusetts
NFPA's Wildland Fire Projects Manager
Interests: disaster safety, natural hazards, land use planning, wildland fire, mitigation, Firewise, community action, social behavior change, professional certification, training, home safety
Recent Activity
How do wildfires burn homes? We currently know quite a lot about this question from research from the USDA Forest Service Fire Lab, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). As more fire science research emerges, NFPA has realized... Continue reading
Whether you call it a go-kit, emergency supplies or a 72-hour kit, during this 3rd week of September, America's Prepare-A-Thon theme is how to build an emergency kit. Have what you need ready to go when you are - and feel more prepared and less scared during a wildfire or... Continue reading
Join NFPA, the Hazards Caucus Alliance, the University of California at Riverside and San Diego, and the Western Governors Association for an informative briefing on wildfire science, policy, mitigation and response tomorrow, Sep. 11 from 11:30 am to 1 p.m. at room 421 of the Cannon House Office Building in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
"If you know your history, then you know where you're coming from," Bob Marley once sang. After ten years working on wildfire safety, reading Timothy Egan's The Big Burn really helped me understand the roots of American wildland fire suppression policy and forest management in a new way. The PBS... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
In the current issue of NFPA Journal, NFPA President Jim Pauley shares some numbers and stats on wildfire and gives his assessment: we still have work to do. Read or listen to what Jim has to say about the growing threat of wildfire and where we need to take action.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
I'm excited to have a place on the agenda at the annual conference of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, better known as FLASH. The Florida-based national non-profit is the country’s leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters - sounds like a mission... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
In a recent article in the online magazine Fire Fighter Nation, Chief Rich Cowger of the Columbus (Montana) Fire Rescue Department provides a compelling argument for fire departments to pay attention to wildfire, regardless of whether they are east or west of the Mississippi. Chief Cowger recognizes that "the wildland/urban... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
If you're out and about in Boise, make a visit to the Idaho Botanical Garden nearby the Old Penitentiary Historic District. Among the beautiful plants and attractive landscapes, you'll find a wonderful Firewise Garden established via a partnership among the Idaho Botanical Garden, Bureau of Land Management, and the College... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
The Prescott Area Wildland/Urban Interface Commission was born in 1990 from the flames of an earlier fire in the region. The 1983 Thumb Butte fire was a catalyst for a long-term effort to improve communication and standardization of equiment among area firefighting agencies. This broad collaborative approach blossomed over the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
Within a few short months of signing a memorandum of understanding with US partners, the Chief Fire Officers Association of the United Kingdom is helping guide outreach and projects to prepare residents for wildfire. According to Alan Clark, Area Commander with the Surrey Fire & Rescue Service, with support, advice... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
NFPA has gotten a lot of requests lately from our friends in the states wanting to know "where do we rank with Firewise?" Of course, they are referring to the numbers of active Firewise Communities/USA sites in each state. Check out this list, pulled from our data just yesterday. These... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
Thanks for the comment, Alex. We hope that USAA's example will create some interest in the insurance market for encouraging behaviors leading to loss reduction.
I had a great opportunity last week to spend valuable time with California partners including the California Fire Safe Council staff (who serve as the state's Firewise liaison) and staff of the Sacramento Metro Fire District (who have hosted numerous offerings of NFPA's Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
It is kind of quiet in the Quincy office of NFPA today, as many of our staff are participating in NFPA's annual Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. And I'm not sure if it's simply because it's the season or what, but there have been an unusually large number of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
KRDO TV in Colorado reported on yesterday's field tour by members of the national Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network at their annual meeting near Colorado Springs. There are currently 18 Fire Adapted Communities network participants from all over the U.S. Woodland Park, northwest of the city of Colorado Springs, is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
If you live or work in the Sacramento area, don't miss the final in a series of great workshops sponsored by the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District (Metro Fire) next week on June 13-14. The fire district is in the process of creating a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP), and secured... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
A recent article in Insurance Journal highlights how California's early and dramatic wildfire season has prompted property owners to check in with their insurance carriers on fire coverage and safety. Western editor Don Jergler's article, "Wildfire Publicity Lights Fire Under California Homeowners," documents the flurry of calls and requests for... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
Did you know that four U.S. states offer tax breaks to encourage you to prepare for disasters? I found out about this through the excellent Mitigation Nation blog connected to the Designing for Disaster exhibit at the National Building Museum. Through Saturday, the state of Virginia waives taxes on a... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
Until 1998, when I first learned about wildland/urban interface fire and Firewise principles at a workshop, I worked for a decade on flood mitigation and safety. I thought wildfires were something that “belonged” to firefighters; I’d never thought about what people could do to prevent damage and loss. During the... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
There are many potential pathways for wildland fires to ignite buildings within the WUI. These pathways (including both fire and ember exposure) depend on the characteristics of the wildland, the characteristics of the community, and the characteristics of the interface. The Fire Protection Research Foundation is an independent nonprofit whose... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
The level of fire activity in May in California is not completely unexpected, but dramatic nonetheless. Fire officials and environmental monitors alike have been worrying and warning for months about the severity of the statewide drought conditions and their potential to give the fire season calendar a 180-degree spin. Forget... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
It's not too late for folks to register for this weekend's Assessing Wildfire Hazards in the Home Ignition Zone workshop in Fair Oaks, California. Click on the image to sign up for this free training to learn how to prepare homes to resist wildfire hazards! Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
One of the first questions most people ask when they learn about the Firewise Communities/USA recognition program - or about the concept of Firewise safety action in general - is, "Will I get a break on my insurance?" Until today, the answer to that question was "No," with very few... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
Our friends at FLASH (Federal Alliance for Safe Homes) are encouraging you to "Make Wildfire Protection Your Burning Desire," and participating in tomorrow's first national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day! Their blog at features a story from the Austin, Texas, area about a fire engineer who prepared his home and... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
While this time of year may have many thinking about the value of their tax dollars, the Firewise program staff are thinking about the value of volunteers. Every April, the Independent Sector website publishes a new annual estimate of the value of a volunteer hour. The new rate is $22.55,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog