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This week, FIRESafe MARIN will provide a simple, 7 day guide to improving your home and family's wildfire preparedness with simple, easy, inexpensive tips.
Ready, Set, Go. If you've followed days 1-5 of our Wildfire Preparedness Week step-by-step planning guide, you've now taken steps to "Ready" your home for wildfire, and are "set" to evacuate when the time is right. Today we'll look at the last step in a process that we hope you'll never face - evacuate.
Evacuations save lives and allow responding personnel to focus on the emergency at hand. Please evacuate promptly when requested! Your life is at stake!
By leaving early, you give your family the best chance of surviving a wildfire. You also help firefighters by keeping roads clear of congestion, enabling them to move more freely and do their job.
Leave early enough to avoid being caught in fire, smoke or road congestion. Don’t wait to be told by authorities to leave. In an intense wildfire, they may not have time to knock on every door. If you are advised to leave, don’t hesitate!
Leave to a predetermined location (it should be a low-risk area, such as a well-prepared neighbor or relative’s house, a Red Cross shelter or evacuation center, motel, etc.)
Have several travel routes in case one route is blocked by the fire or by emergency vehicles and equipment. Choose an escape route away from the fire.
Take your emergency supply kit containing your family and pet’s necessary items.
California law authorizes officers to restrict access to any area where a menace to public health or safety exists due to a calamity such as flood, storm, fire, earthquake, explosion, accident or other disaster. Refusal to comply is a misdemeanor. (Penal Code 409.5)
The terms Voluntary and Mandatory are used to describe evacuation orders. However, local jurisdictions may use other terminology such as Precautionary and Immediate Threat. These terms are used to alert you to the significance of the danger. All evacuation instructions provided by officials should be followed immediately for your safety.
Prepare an Evacuation Checklist and Organize (see: Wildfire Preparedness Week, Day 5: Now that You're Ready, Get Set!)
*During an evacuation, law enforcement/ emergency personnel may determine your route.
Officials will determine the areas to be evacuated and the routes to use depending upon the fire’s location, behavior, winds, terrain, etc. Law enforcement agencies are typically responsible for enforcing an evacuation order.
Follow their directions promptly.
You will be advised of potential evacuations as early as possible. You must take the initiative to stay informed and aware. Listen to your radio/TV for announcements from law enforcement and emergency personnel.
You may be directed to temporary assembly areas to await transfer to a safe location.
* Note – it will get hot in the house, but it is much hotter, and more dangerous outside.
After the fire passes, and if it is safe, check the following areas for fire:
Fire officials will determine when it is safe for you to return to your home. This will be done as soon as possible considering safety and accessibility.
When you return home:
Did you read our earlier articles?