An evacuation warning or order can be given at any point during an emergency, so it’s critical for all Californians to know what it means and how to react to law enforcement guidance.
Evacuation Warning vs. Evacuation Order
An evacuation warning means there’s impending danger to your life or property. If a warning is given assume an evacuation order will follow. Start gathering important items for your family and pets. Any individuals who need extra time to evacuate, or anyone with large animals, should pack-up and leave when a warning is issued.
An evacuation order means there’s an immediate threat to your life and you need to leave right now! It’s critical to follow all directions from law enforcement to ensure you and your family evacuate safely.
When to Evacuate
Leave as soon as evacuation is recommended to avoid being caught in fire, smoke, or road congestion. In an intense wildfire, officials may not have time to knock on every door. If you are advised to leave, don’t hesitate!
- Officials will determine the evacuation areas and escape routes based on the fire’s location, behavior, winds, terrain, etc.
- You will be advised of potential evacuations as early as possible. Take the initiative to stay informed and aware.
Do not return to your home until officials determine it’s safe. Notifications will be given as soon as possible and will take into consideration safety and accessibility.
Pack a Go-Bag
When a disaster hits, you might not have time to gather necessary supplies. Pack a Go Bag so it’s ready to grab in case of an emergency. Think about the items you’d take if you only had two minutes to leave your home:
- Copies of identification & insurance cards
- Contact list
- Local maps
- Medicine & important medical information
- Phone charger & backup battery
- First aid kit
Pet Preparedness Kit
Plan ahead for your pets and know where you will take or leave them during an emergency. During a wildfire, local animal rescue organizations work with law enforcement and fire departments to rescue as many animals as they can. You should also have a go-bag packed for your animals:
- Pet carrier for each pet
- Two-week supply of food and water
- Pet first aid kit
- Identification tags
- Vaccination information
- Medications and dosing instructions
- Cat litter box and litter
- Plastic bags for waste disposal
- Paper towels
- Toys and treats