Fire in California
University of California
Fire in California

Evacuation Guide

Wildfires are challenging times. Please work with your local fire agency and follow all evacuation orders to help fire crews protect our communities. There are several sources of information, so please ensure that you are using verified sources. If a wildfire is approaching, follow these steps to minimize risk to your person and property:

  • Do not rely solely on emergency services. Damaged infrastructure can stop alert messages from getting to you. If you feel unsafe, evacuate. 
  • Mobile Alerts: Install CodeREDRedAlert, and NIXLE on your mobile device to have emergency evacuation notices sent directly to your phone.
  • Evacuation Orders: Check you local CalFire Incident Information Page, local Office of Emergency Services, local sheriff's department, and local news stations for the most up to date information. Many have Facebook and Twitter accounts. 
  • Social Media: Ensure you are getting information from reputable sources when getting information from Facebook or Twitter.
  • Save Receipts: Some insurance providers include evacuation coverage as part of their policy. Save receipts for motels and other expenses to help with your recovery.

Use this checklist to prioritize your evacuation based on time available.

PRE-EVACUATION ORDER CHECKLIST
Because the time available to you may change in a moments notice, start with the first priority. Secure People, Pets, then Structure.
Refer to local emergency plans for additional information
Time Available Priority Task
0 - 60 Minutes 1 Evacuate immediately. Early evacuation is the safest for you and your family. Late evacuation causes the greatest loss of life.
1 Hours - 1.5 Hours
2 Load your medications, important documents, supplies and pets into vehicle.
3 Park car in driveway facing out with keys in ignition for a quick exit. Disconnect automatic garage door opener for quick access by emergency personnel.
1.5 Hours - 4 Hours
4 Close windows, vents, doors, venetian blinds or non-combustible window coverings and drapes.
5 Shut off gas at the meter. Turn off propane tanks including BBQ and other portable tanks. After the threat passes call gas company to re-establish service is assistance is needed. Affix wrench to propane take for quick access to shut off gas during and emergency
6

Record your belongings to help with the insurance and recovery process. Take photos of every room, closet, and storage area

7 Close fireplace screens and/or doors
8 Move flammable furniture, doormats, brooms and other flammable items into the center of the home away from windows and glass doors.
9 Turn on a light in each room to increase the visibility of your home in heavy smoke.
10 Erect ladders against house and place fire-fighting tools (rake,shovel, chainsaw) in front of house
11 Place combustible patio furniture inside or at least 30 feet away from structure.
12 Connect garden hoses to outside taps and sprinklers.
4 Hours - 6 Hours
13 If available, set up portable gasoline powered pump.
14 If combustible materials are present, place lawn sprinklers on the roof and near above ground fuel tanks and wet down. Do not leave sprinklers unattended; turn off when you leave your home.
15 Wet or remove shrubs within 30 feet of home.
16 Seal attic and ground vents with pre-cut plywood or heavy aluminum foil.
17 Fill garbage cans and buckets with water and place in front of house.
18 Protect water sources - wet down pump house, clear flammable vegetation way from supply infrastructure.
19 Implement evacuation of livestock.
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