Alert and Warning Systems

Top 10 Ways to Be Ready for An Evacuation

Roads during wildfireCars evacuating during a wildfire

  • Be aware of Red Flag Days: These are days when extreme caution is urged because wildfires are more likely to ignite and spread.  
  • Make sure you will get an evacuation alert: The best option is to sign up for SLO County Reverse 911 which will send an alert to your phone when action is needed at the address you signed up with. Often people have their phone in the “Do Not Disturb” setting at night
  • Park your car facing the road: Make it easy to leave your home! If you usually park your car in the garage, have a plan for opening the door if the power is out (and close it when you leave so that embers cannot enter).
  • Make sure your car is full of gas or fully charged: The last thing you want is to be stuck!  
  • Make a plan: Talk to the other members of your household about different scenarios and the actions you would take if ordered to evacuate on short notice. What would you do if you were all at home? What would you do if you were in different places? Pick someone outside of your county to be a point of contact if phone lines are jammed.
  • Know your evacuation route: Usually, the best route is the one that you use every day to get to the store! Take the fastest paved route to the valley floor, away from the wildfire. Avoid using fire roads. 
  • Have your go-bag packed: Don’t leave packing until the last minute! Go over the items that should be in your go-bag here. Put a notecard in a visible place with last-minute items to grab, such as your computer and medications.
  • Make a go-bag for your pets: Your pets are relying on you in an evacuation. Go over the helpful items for your pets here
  • Wear the right clothes: You should wear long sleeves and long pants made of cotton or wool, even if it is hot out! Goggles, hats, and gloves can help protect from embers.
  • Leave right away! If you get an evacuation order, it is very important that you follow those directions as quickly as possible, so you are not putting your life or firefighters lives at risk.