LDS Emergency Preparedness

Be Prepared, Not Scared!

Wild Fires and Evacuation

Posted by Elise on October 23, 2009

Garrison Photography

Number of Fires and Acres Burned in California:

Interval Fires  Acres
January 1, 2009 through September 26, 2009 7,198   54,109
January 1, 2008 through September 26, 2008 5,007 357,903
5 year average (same interval) 6,689 172,848
(All statistics are for CDF jurisdiction fires only and are subject to change until final fire season reports are completed and tabulated.)

Evacuations save lives and allow responding personnel to focus on the emergency at hand.  Please evacuate promptly when requested!

Evacuation Orders

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.

If Evacuation is a Possibility

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

Officials will determine the areas to be evacuated and the routes to use depending upon the fire’s location, behavior, winds, terrain, etc.

Law enforcement agencies are typically responsible for enforcing an evacuation order.  Follow their directions promptly.

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 emergency personnel.

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.

Fill sinks and tubs with cold water.

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.

Returning Home

Fire officials will determine when it is safe for you to return to your home.  This will be done as soon as possible considering safety and accessibility.

 When you return home:

Be alert for downed power lines and other hazards.

Check propane tanks, regulators, and lines before turning gas on.

Check your residence carefully for hidden embers or smoldering fires.

www.fire.ca.gov

Arson Hotline: 1 (800) 468-4480

For updates during a wildfire emergency:

Visit the San Diego County Emergency homepage at: http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/dmpr/emer/

Call 2-1-1.  211 is the new national dialing code for free, 24-hour community, health, disaster information, and more.  If you are unable to reach 2-1-1 from your cell phone or you are calling from outside San Diego County, please use (858) 300-1211.

Have a battery operated radio and listen to local radio stations.

Tune into local news stations such as NBC, CBS, ABC, and KUSI

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