‘Disasters don’t come on a nice schedule:’ Truckee Fire Protection District offers tips on emergency preparedness
The Truckee Fire Protection District, in conjunction with Tahoe Donner, held an emergency response preparation presentation on Tuesday, offering advice to the community on a wide range of topics regarding what to do during a crisis.
Truckee Fire Protection District Community Emergency Response Team member Rich Mackler led the presentation, which stressed timeliness during an emergency.
“If we have an emergency or an event where we need to exit or evacuate, that’s not the time to be having a discussion with your spouse about where you stored the important papers,” said Mackler. “It’s time to pick up your bag that you’ve already pre-packed and go.”
When an alert of an emergency is received, Mackler said community members should have a to-go bag with water, food, flashlights, and other essentials like important documents. Communicating a plan to members of the household and also neighbors is important, said Mackler, who suggested having at least 72 hours worth of supplies on hand.
“Disasters don’t come on a nice schedule,” added Mackler. “It’s really important that you pre-discuss this. If you’re in Reno shopping, and there’s an evacuation call, you cannot get back into Tahoe-Donner. It will be one-way only on Northwoods and on Alder Creek.”
The Truckee Fire Protection District offers advice during an emergency evacuation on its website at http://www.truckeefire.org, which includes links to the town’s evacuation routes and evacuation checklist. The district will notify the community using Nixle as its primary emergency alert system. Community members can text 96161 to 888-777 to opt into the program. Nevada County uses CodeRed as its alert system, and can be signed up for at the fire district’s website as well. For those along Tahoe’s North Shore, the North Tahoe Fire Protection District has an emergency preparedness guide on its website at http://www.ntfire.net.
In the event of an emergency, Truckee will provide information to the community through local stations 1670 AM, 101.5 FM, or for the greater Reno-Tahoe area, 780 AM.
Truckee Emergency Services Coordinator Robert Womack stressed the importance of having a radio available as other means of communication could be interrupted.
“The reason that we recommend AM radio is that our local AM 1670 is owned and operated by the town .. and so the idea is that we’ll put a message on there that tells people what they need to know,” said Womack. “Because of where it’s located and the resources we have on it, it should stay viable through most any disaster. And then in addition, AM 780 out of Reno is the local emergency alert station. That’s really one of the reasons why AM stations still exist today is the federal government subsidizes them to provide emergency messaging across the U.S.”
Along with having plans in place in case of an emergency, Mackler hit on the importance of maintaining a defensible space around homes, winterization practices, checking smoke detectors, and being familiar with the use of fire extinguishers.
“Start your implementation plan now,” said Mackler. “I don’t know how to push that harder or further, but I think that should be your primary takeaway.”
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-550-2643.
Nixle – Truckee alert system
CodeRed – Nevada County alert system
Placer Alert – Placer County alert system
1670 AM – Truckee radio alert system
780 AM – Reno-Tahoe radio alert system
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