Planning ahead of time - for an event that we know with certainty that will occur in the future - makes great sense and will provide families with the information necessary ahead of time to evacuate in a safe and timely manner.
Plan for Evacuation
Plan your escape in advance so that you will "pack up and get out" if your home is in the path of a wildfire.
- Make a list of important items to take with you, including valuables, family photographs and videos, and important documents like insurance papers, birth certificates, and other legal papers. Be ready to take prescription medication, eyeglasses, and other health needs.
- If you have them, include family pets and livestock in your plan and have a supply of food and water ready, as well as leashes, carriers, and trailers if needed. Shot records and other documents may come in handy if boarding is required.
- Check with your child's school on their Student Release policy. They should have plans to protect children in place or to bus them to safer locations. To avoid mass congestion during evacuation, pick-up should be arranged after the crisis passes.
- Set up a plan for family members to reunite if separated.
- In case the usual way out is blocked by fire, plan and prepare for a 2nd means of exiting your neighborhood. Your evacuation plan should consider alternate routes in case the usual route becomes blocked
- Make sure each vehicle has plenty of gas and is parked facing toward the exit road.
- Know where the keys are.
- Fire can move as rapidly as the wind blows, so be sure to leave while it is still safe.
- Resist the temptation to stay behind in order to try and save your home with a garden hose. You might be endangering the lives of emergency personnel, as well as your own. No house or anything in it is more valuable than a human life.
- Don't wait to be told to evacuate. Authorities may not have time to order an evacuation. If you feel threatened, leave on your own initiative.
During & After Evacuation
- Obey orders of law enforcement and fire officers. They understand the risk and are acting on current fire information.
- Drive with your headlights on for visibility. Drive calmly and with special attention to fire trucks. They are not as maneuverable as your car. Do not block the access roadway for fire trucks.
- If fire overtakes you, you are far safer in the car than out.
- Do not call 911 for non-emergencies. Do not attempt to reenter the area until officials allow it. Check-in at an Evacuation Center established by the Red Cross. Law enforcement officials can direct you. Whether you stay there or not, your checking in will help others know you're safe.