Evacuation Preparedness Tips

It’s important to plan ahead for disasters. Give your household the best chance of surviving a disaster by being ready to go and evacuating early. This includes going through pre-evacuation preparation steps to increase your home’s defenses, as well as creating evacuation and emergency plans for your family.

Take Steps Now to Better Prepare Your Household for an Evacuation

Take these steps to be ready in advance:

  • Create a Family Disaster Plan that includes meeting locations and communications plans and rehearse it regularly. Include the evacuation of large animals such as horses in your plan.
  • Have a portable radio or scanner so you can stay updated on the fire and weather emergency announcements.
  • Sign up to receive local alerts for when you need them. Sign up at socoalert.com
  • Be prepared for power outages. Visit the Power Outages including Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) page for more information.
  • Ensure that your family knows where your gas, electric, and water main shut- off controls are and how to use them.
  • Plan and practice all of your different evacuation routes out of your home and neighborhood.
  • Know how to open your garage door manually.
  • Designate an emergency meeting location outside the hazard area.
  • Have fire extinguishers on hand and teach your family how to use them. 
  • Appoint an out-of-area friend or relative as a point of contact so you can communicate with family members.
  • Pack an emergency Go Bag/emergency supply kit for each member of your family. For Guidance on what to pack, refer to the list below or visit the Red Cross Emergency Preparedness Page.
  • Maintain a list of emergency contact numbers in Go Bag/Emergency Supply Kit.

What to Pack in Your Go Bag/Emergency Supply Kit

The American Red Cross recommends every family have an emergency supply kit assembled long before a wildland fire or other emergency occurs. Use the list below to help assemble yours. For more information on emergency supplies, visit the Red Cross Emergency Preparedness Page.
  • Three-day supply of water (one gallon per person, per day) and non-perishable food for family (3 day supply).
  • Non perishable food for all family members and pets (three-day supply).
  • First aid kit and sanitation supplies.
  • Flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries.
  • An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash, or traveler’s checks.
  • Extra eyeglasses, contact lenses, prescriptions, and medications.
  • Important family documents and contact numbers, including insurance documents.
  • Map marked with evacuation routes.
  • Easily carried valuables and irreplaceable items.
  • Personal electronic devices and chargers.
  • Keep a pair of old shoes and a flashlight handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night.