The booklet, “After the Fire-Your Next Steps” is a fire services’ booklet carried by firefighters for victims of a fire. Courtesy Photo

WINCHESTER – The North Dundas, April 4 council meeting featured a presentation by North Dundas Fire Service liaison, Ray Sherrer.

Sherrer announced a plan by the fire service to distribute a specially written booklet: “After the Fire – Your Next Steps” to victims of a fire, while at the scene of a fire.

Once a fire has been extinguished by firefighters, a homeowner has to deal with the aftermath of the fire, which can be a challenge to anyone, especially a homeowner who might be in shock.

The 25-page booklet will be carried with firefighters at the scene.

The introduction to the book states: “The Fire Prevention Committee is dedicated to providing assistance to those impacted by fire.

As part of their commitment to the residents in our region, the information booklet attached is intended as a guide for victims of fire. This document is provided as a tool to assist them in dealing with actions that may be required following a fire occurrence.

Recovering from a fire can be a challenging process for those impacted. Often, the hardest part is knowing the initial steps to take, and who to contact throughout the early recovery period. This guide was designed to assist victims dealing with some of the common issues they may encounter immediately after a fire.

This document has been prepared using information provided by the South Stormont Fire Service.”

The booklet covers topics such as: The First 24 Hours, which takes a look at items like temporary housing, food, medicine, eyeglasses, clothing and other essential items.

The booklet answers many questions about how firefighters put out the fire and why they may have had to break windows or make holes in the roof.

The booklet also looks at what you have to be aware of, if it turns out you cannot go back into your home. You should be looking for any documents you might need later on and locate as many valuables as possible.

You should contact your insurance company as soon as possible and there are tips on how to cope with emotional reaction to the fire.

Other important and timely topics include salvage and restoration tips, creating a contact list, fire safety information, what to do about your utilities, looking after your pets and where to go if you cannot return to your home.

The booklet also includes fire safety information and emergency numbers and smoke alarms.