Highlights from the ‘Emergency Alert & Evacuation’ Meeting
Important Information to Remember: Highlights from the “Emergency Alert & Evacuation” Community Forum May 23, 2019.
Over 200 people attended the standing room only meeting. Watch the meeting on Channel 95.
Here’s a few highlights:
1) Captain Jeff Pettitt, Director of the Office of Emergency Services (OES), asked for a hand vote. One third of the room knows what a Red Flag Warning is. During high fire season, look for Weather Reports such as this:
Treat a Red Flag Warning just like you would a Winter Storm Warning. Get prepared:
— Go-bag with medicationss, pet bag, pet food, water, kid’s toys, etc.
— Know where to take refuge
— Be prepared to survive 3-5 days
— Gas in generator. PG&E could cut power for up to 3-5 days. See PG&E website for more information.
— Full tank of gas in cars. Park car facing out to road.
— Keep cash. ATMs could be out of service.
— Know how to open your electric garage door when power is out. Park your car so that you can reach the back-up cord.
— Stay informed: YubaNet.com, KNCR, OES Facebook and OES Twitter Page
— In the near future, Red Flags will be on Each Fire Station.
1. A CodeRED Alert will not tell you which road to take in an evacuation. Fires move and change direction based on wind, typography.
2. Therefore, you must stay calm and stay situationally aware:
a. Make your homes defendable by making your defensible space around your home. Harden your home too.
b. Plan to get out.
c. Take personal responsibility to leave. Just GO if you feel uncomfortable. Don’t wait on someone to tell you. Get out quickly and fast. People died in the Camp fire because they went back in their home for 1 more thing.
d. Know all evacuation routes.
e. Don’t just follow people. If they are going into a very dark area, and the area behind you is light/clear, you best bet is to go where there are no chances of fire.
3. Plan Your Evacuation
a. Have a family plan. Know where you are all meeting in a safe area. Drive all evacuation routes at night. In a fire, there will be smoke and darkness.
b. Tell an out-of-town family member what’s going on. Phones may not be working locally (cell phone towers burn), but you might be able to talk to someone out of town. Other family members can communicate with them too.
Captain John Pitts of PV Fire Department had very good information, too.
1. Evacuate. Leave early. Take one car, not two. Don’t congest evacuation routes.
2. If you’re stuck in traffic and the fire comes:
a. Cover with a wool blanket, clothing. Wool doesn’t burn well.
b. Use air conditioner recycle setting. Shut off vents to outside air.
c. Headlights ON. Flashers ON. Make your car VISIBLE in smoke/darkness.
3. Fire front:
a. Hot, loud, very scary. Stay calm. Seek shelter if you can. If you have to stay in your car, get low, away from windows.
b. If the car catches fire, get out, keep out of traffic.
c. Walls, grass field, buildings may provide more shelter.
d. TRA/Temporary Refuge Area provides a fairly safe place to ride a fire out. Enough protection to keep you alive.
e. Shelter in Place: If you can’t evacuate, best place could be your home. Fortify it: heavy blinds down. Good barrier between fire and you. It would give you enough time to stay safe. Leave doors unlocked so crews can get to you. Take refuge in house opposite side of fire. Get out when you can’t stay inside anymore (home on fire) and fire has passed.
f. N95 Smoke masks in go-bag.
Virginia Gompertz, LWW community member, developed an Emergency Alert Buddy System which is a supplement to CodeRed and a modern day phone tree:
1. After CodeRED alert implemented, CALL your 2-3 Emergency Alert Buddies to make sure they received the alert. If they don’t answer their phone and you have time, stop by and knock on your Buddy’s door while you’re evacuating. Help them get out if they need.
2. Choose Emergency Alert Buddies who have different cell phone carriers and have a different vantage points on your street. Cell phone towers may burn. Some people may have a good site of a wildfire, or hear car horns honking.
3. Get detailed information on LWW website: http://www.lwwa.org.
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