When an evacuation is anticipated, follow these checklists (if time allows) to give you and your home the best chance of surviving a wildfire.
On Your Person
Dress in long sleeves and long pants, heavy cotton or wool is preferable no matter how hot it is.
Wear leather gloves, head, and eye protection - goggles are best.
Cover your face with a dry bandanna or cotton or wool cloth or scarf OVER an N95 respirator.
Carry a headlamp and flashlight (even during the day), cell phone, and spare battery.
Carry your car keys and wallet on your person.
Drink lots of water and stay hydrated.
- Locate your pets and place in carriers NOW. You will not be able to catch them when panicked as a fire approaches.
- Place carriers (with your pets in them) near the front door, with fresh water and extra food.
- Prepare horses and large animals for transport and consider moving them to a safe location early, before evacuation is ordered.
- Learn more about evacuating pets...
- Learn more about evacuating large animals...
Inside the House
- Shut all windows and doors, leave them UNLOCKED.
- Remove flammable window shades and lightweight curtains; close metal shutters.
- Move flammable furniture to the center of the room, away from windows and doors.
- Shut off gas at the meter or propane tank; turn off pilot lights.
- Leave all indoor and outdoor lights on so firefighters can see your house under smoky conditions.
- Shut off air conditioning and house fans.
- Gather up combustible items from the exterior of the house and bring them inside (patio furniture, children’s toys, door mats, trash cans, etc.) or place them in your pool.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Move propane BBQ appliances away from structures and close propane valves.
- Connect garden hoses to outside water valves or spigots for use by firefighters. Attach grip type nozzles if you have them. Fill water buckets and place them around the house.
- Don’t leave sprinklers on or water running, they are ineffective and can reduce critical water pressure for the entire neighborhood.
- Hosing your roof down is dangerous and ineffective.
- Leave exterior lights on so your home is visible to firefighters in the smoke or darkness of night.
- Put your Emergency Supply Kit in your vehicle.
- Back your car into the driveway so it is facing out, with vehicle loaded and all doors and windows closed.
- Carry your car keys with you.
- Have ladder(s) available and place at the corner(s) of the house for firefighters to quickly access your roof.
- Seal attic and ground vents with pre-cut plywood or commercial seals.
- Patrol your property and monitor the fire situation. Don’t wait for an evacuation order if you feel threatened.
- Check on neighbors and make sure they are preparing to leave.