Chief’s Corner: Evacuation a key component in emergency preparedness
Over the last several weeks we’ve been discussing emergency preparedness and the steps involved with making a plan, assembling a kit and staying informed. Another key component is the evacuation piece.
A key component of the Fire Adapted Communities concept is residents who know how to safely and effectively evacuate. Successful community evacuation requires preparation. The Lake Tahoe Basin “Fire Adapted Communities: The Next Step in Wildfire Preparedness” booklet addresses evacuation on pages 18-23.
The following are some key points to consider.
Elements of Family Emergency Planning & Preparation
Local Utility Company Information
To-go Bag & Disaster Supplies Kit (as discussed in previous weeks columns)
Essentials for a Disaster Supplies Kit
Addressing Special Needs Populations
Local government public information officers can prepare and distribute media releases for broadcast by local media outlets.
Emergency managers can initiate the Emergency Alert System, which interrupts local radio and television broadcasts with important information.
Public safety officials can directly broadcast messages over government cable channels.
Fires responders and credentialed volunteers can go door-to-door to alert citizens.
If applicable, the local emergency notification system can be used to automatically call affected residents.
There is no guarantee that every citizen will be contacted, but these five methods allow regional officials to quickly notify large sections of the local population. As another option, consider establishing an emergency phone tree in your neighborhood in conjunction with our local fire department/district.
Time To Leave
Remember, there is nothing you own worth your life. Evacuate immediately when asked by fire or law enforcement officials. If you are concerned, don’t wait to be asked to leave. If you have to evacuate and there’s time, consider items to wear and carry, animal needs, proper vehicle precautions, what to do inside and outside of your home.
Details can again be found in the Lake Tahoe Basin “Fire Adapted Communities: The Next Step in Wildfire Preparedness” booklet, http://www.livingwithfire.info/tahoe. Fire Adapted Communities work in complimentary and collaborative fashion with the Ready, Set, Go! Program, http://wildlandfirersg.org/index.cfm, which also provides implementation guidance for Emergency Preparedness.
September is National Preparedness month. The theme this year is “Be Disaster Aware, Take Action To Prepare,” http://www.community.fema.gov/connect.ti/Region_IX/groupHome.
We encourage our residents and visitors to educate your families and friends to Be Prepared.
“Chief’s Corner” is a regular feature in the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza from North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Chief Mike Brown, offering information, tips and education material on fire safety, emergency preparedness and other pertinent topics.