Be ready to evacuate

Evacuation: Evacuate as soon as evacuation is recommended by fire officials to avoid being caught in fire, smoke or road congestion. Sign up for CodeRed. Listen to scanner or radio, or, as a last resort, plan ahead for friends and neighbors to call one another in case of evacuation order. Be aware that any one avenue of communication (cell phone, radio, scanner, internet access) can fail in an emergency, so it is best to know as many ways to get information as possible. Here is a link to information about CodeRed Wear long pants, long sleeve shirt, heavy shoes or boots, cap, dry bandana for face cover, goggles or glasses. 100% cotton clothing is best. If you will evacuate in a travel trailer, be sure that you can hook it up and pull out within ten minutes. If you will evacuate in a passenger vehicle, be prepare to quickly pack essential items such as cell phone, clothing, personal hygiene items, pets, sleeping bags, first aid kits, valuables, portable radio, flashlight, emergency cooking equipment, portable lanterns and batteries, and enough drinking water and food for at least three days. Make a list ahead of time, and be sure you can fit everything into your vehicle.

Know more than one route out of the area. Travel all of the potential exit routes often so you are familiar with them because even frequently traveled roads might appear unfamiliar in heavy smoke.

If you must leave your home or travel trailer behind, take these steps before you evacuate:

  1. Gather flammable items such as patio furniture, toys, door mats, trash cans from outside the home and bring them into the home or put them in a pool.
  2. Turn off propane tanks.
  3. Move propane barbeque appliances away from structures or trailer.
  4. Connect garden hoses to outside water valves or spigots for use by firefighters. Fill buckets with water and place them around the house. Do not leave sprinklers or water running.
  5. Leave interior and exterior lights on so firefighters can see your home in the smoke.
  6. Put emergency supply kit and essential personal belongings into your vehicle.
  7. Back your evacuation vehicle into the driveway with and all doors and windows closed. Carry your car keys with you. If you must leave a vehicle behind, leave it facing toward the road with key in ignition and doors unlocked. Firefighters may need to move it.
  8. Have a ladder available and place it at the corner of your house to give firefighters quick access to your roof.
  9. If there is time, seal attic and ground vents with pre-cut plywood or commercial seals.
  10. Monitor your property and the fire situation. Do not wait for an evacuation notice. If you feel threatened just leave. Be especially alert when there is lightning and thunder.
  11. Check on neighbors and make sure they are preparing to leave.

Inside the House:

  1. Shut all windows and doors, leaving them unlocked
  2. Remove flammable window shades and curtains. Close metal blinds
  3. Move flammable furniture to the center of the room, away from windows and doors.
  4. Shut off gas at the meter, turn off pilot lights
  5. Leave your lights on so firefighters can see your house through the smoke.
  6. Shut off air conditioning.

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