. Evacuation Tips
Evacuations save lives and allow responding personnel to focus on the emergency at hand.
Please evacuate promptly when requested!
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.
Long Before a Fire Threatens
Prepare an Evacuation Checklist and Organize:
▪ Critical medications.
▪ Important personal papers, photos.
▪ Essential valuables.
▪ Pet and livestock transport, limited amount of pet food.
▪ Change of clothing, toiletries.
▪ Cell phone.
▪ Critical papers and effects in a fire-proof safe.
▪ An Evacuation Route Map with at least two routes.
▪ Drive your planned route of escape before an actual emergency.
*During an evacuation, law enforcement/ emergency personnel may determine your route.
If Evacuation is a Possibility
▪ Locate your Evacuation Checklist and place the items in your vehicle.
▪ Park your vehicle facing outward and carry your car keys with you.
▪ Locate your pets and keep them nearby.
▪ Prepare farm animals for transport.
▪ Place connected garden hoses and buckets full of water around the house.
▪ Move propane BBQ appliances away from structures.
▪ Cover-up. Wear long pants, long sleeve shirt, heavy shoes/boots, cap, dry
bandanna for face cover, goggles or glasses. 100% cotton is preferable.
▪ Leave lights on in the house - door unlocked.
▪ Leave windows closed - air conditioning off.
The Evacuation Process
1. Officials will determine the areas to be evacuated and the routes to use depending upon the fire’s
location, behavior, winds, terrain, etc.
2. Law enforcement agencies are typically responsible for enforcing an evacuation order. Follow
their directions promptly.
3. 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
4. You may be directed to temporary assembly areas to await transfer to a safe location.
If You Become Trapped
While in your vehicle:
▪ Stay calm.
▪ Park your vehicle in an area clear of vegetation.
▪ Close all vehicle windows and vents.
▪ Cover yourself with wool blanket or jacket.
▪ Lie on vehicle floor.
▪ Use your cell phone to advise officials – Call 911.
While on foot:
▪ Stay calm.
▪ Go to an area clear of vegetation, a ditch or depression if possible.
▪ Lie face down, cover up.
▪ Use your cell phone to advise officials - Call 911.
While in your home:
▪ Stay calm, keep your family together.
▪ Call 911 and inform authorities of your location.
▪ Keep doors and windows closed, but unlocked.
▪ Stay inside your house.
▪ Stay away from outside walls and windows.
* 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:
▪ The roof and house exterior.
▪ Under decks and inside your attic.
▪ Your yard for burning trees, woodpiles, etc.
More information on wildfire preparedness can be found at: www.sbcfire.com