Preparing for Emergencies

Evacuation Planning

Create a family plan of where you will meet up and how you will communicate with each family member.   Become familiar with the different shelters for people, people with pets, and for livestock in case of an emergency.  Planning relieves stress and you are more likely to have a successful evacuation if the evacuation is practiced like school fire drills. 

Household Evacuation

Have your evacuation list by front door and your Emergency Supply Kit ready at the start of fire season! Stay informed of what is happening in your area. Keep your car filled up with gas.

Pet Evacuation

Have your pets micro-chipped, with leases and carrying cases handy. If you can not take your animal do not leave them tied up or caged. Have your pets micro-chipped, with leashes and carrying cases handy. If you can not take your animal do not leave them tied up or caged.

Livestock Evacuation

Identify near by locations that take livestock in an emergency and plan how you will transport your animals.  Do not leave animals  tied up or in an enclosure. 

Evacuation Order

Fire is expected to arrive in less than 1 hour, with threat to civilian life. Evacuate immediately, do not delay to gather belongs or prepare your home.

Evacuation Warning

Fire is expected to arrive in 2 hours or more, with threat to civilian life. Evacuate as soon as possible. A short dely to gather your evacuation kit and prepare your home (see Evacuation Checklist) may be ok.

Shelter in Place

Community members should stay secured in current location. Sheltering in place may be used when evacuation would be a greater threat to life.

Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit

Put together your emergency supply kit long before a wildfire or other disaster occurs and keep it easily accessible so you can take it with you when you have to evacuate. Always keep your car fuel on fuel during fire season in our rural area. Plan to be away from your home for an extended period of time. Each person should have a readily accessible emergency supply kit. Backpacks work great for storing these items (except food and water) and are quick to grab.


  • Always keep a sturdy pair of shoes or boots N95 and a spare flashlight near your bed and handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night.
  • N95 Respirator ( available at most hardware stores)
  • Map marked with at least two evacuation routes (if possible)
  • Prescriptions or special medications (ask your doctor for a multi day emergency supply, rotate annually). C-Pap or other health needs.
  • Long sleeve shirt, long pants, cotton (all should be cotton or wool, bright colors are best).
  • Leather work gloves
  • Goggles
  • Spare battery and charger for cell phone
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash or traveler’s checks
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight (handheld)
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Spare batteries for flashlights and radio
  • Sanitation supplies (toilet paper, feminine hygeine, baby wipes/diapers)
  • Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)
  • Carriers for each pet
  • Pet food and water
  • Grab credit cards or cash as you are leaving

Items To Take if Time Allows

  • Easily carried valuables
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person.
  • Family photos and other small, irreplaceable items
  • Personal computer information on hard drives and disks (off site or “cloud” backup is best)
  • Chargers for cell phones, laptops, etc.
  • Computers and battery backups – Use battery backups (computer UPS – Uninterruptible Power Supplies work well) for internet modems, routers, and phones. This can help ensure you receive emergency alerts. If you require hearing aids, ensure you can promptly answer and hear phone calls at night. Register for all Mendocino County and SFC emergency alerting service.

Install a BatteryBackup For a Garage Door Opener

  • This may save your life if the power goes out!

When You Are Evacuating Your Home, Do The Following if Time Allows

  • Have buckets full of water and hoses with spray nozzle on hose bibs for use of firefighters
  • Leave a light on in your home and door unlocked
  • Tape an “X” on your front door with wide red tape to indicate to firefighters that your home is clear of people and pets

In Preparation Before an Incidents Starts

  • Drive planned routes of escape before an actual emergency. It is not possible to tell from which direction a fire may come to our rural area. Being as familiar as possible with staging areas and exit routes is vital in case you may need to leave in poor viability or at night. If your household may evacuate in two or more vehicles, a two-way radio maybe helpful to have in each vehicle to communicate as you evacuate.

Neighbors working together to create a safer community