Evacuations

PREPARING FOR EVACUATIONS

Being vigilant, planning ahead and monitoring first responder social media are critical to being prepared for an evacuation. 

STAY INFORMED WITH TRUSTED SOURCES

Bad information and false reports can create a hazard for community members and first responders. Stay informed and only share evacuation information from the Placer County Sheriff’s Office or your local law enforcement agency. 
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DO NOT WAIT TO EVACUATE IF YOU FEEL UNSAFE

Late evacuations contribute to traffic jams and put you, your neighbors, and first responders at risk. Leaving early increases your chance of survival. If an evacuation is ordered, every minute counts. Law enforcement will make every effort to notify residents of evacuation orders as quickly as possible, but if you feel unsafe, don’t wait for an order to leave - just go. 

  • Be prepared: know where your Go Bag is located

  • Be sure you can open your garage if the power goes out

  • Keep pets close and have carriers readily available. Talk to Placer County Animal Services about what options are available for your pets. 

KNOW THE HI-LO SIREN SOUND

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office has installed new “hi-lo” sirens on all their patrol cars and will only use them for evacuations. Familiarize yourself with the sound, and immediately initiate your evacuation plan if you hear it. 

STAY UPDATED WITH PLACER ALERT220537_placeralertlogo_r3_FINAL (003)

Placer Alert enables the Placer County Sheriff to provide you with critical information quickly in a variety of situations, such as unexpected road closures and evacuations of buildings or neighborhoods. It is important to ensure your information is the most up-to-date in the system in case of an emergency.

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Description automatically generatedUSE THE COUNTY FOR SHELTER AND RESOURCE INFORMATION

While the Placer County Sheriff’s Office will be your point of contact for when to evacuate, the Placer County Office of Emergency Services, in partnership with Health and Human Services will coordinate shelter and community resource information.

PREPARING IS A YEAR-ROUND ENDEAVOR

A wide variety of emergencies may cause an evacuation. In some instances, you may have a day or two to prepare, while other situations might call for immediate evacuation. Planning ahead is vital to ensuring that you can evacuate quickly and safely, no matter what the circumstances.

Before an evacuation

  • Learn the types of disasters in the county
  • Plan how you will leave and where you will go if you are advised to evacuate.
    - Know and practice find at least multiple routes out of your neighborhood
  • Be aware of nearby road conditions and potential obstacles, such as locked gates and overgrown vegetation.
  • Talk to your neighbors about evacuation concerns and work together to mitigate potential hazards.
  • Identifyseveral placesyou could go in an emergency such as a friend’s home in another town or a motel.
  • Choose destinations indifferent directions so that you have options during an emergency.
  • If needed, identify a place to stay that will accept pets. Most public shelters allow only service animals.
  • Be familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area.
  • Always follow the instructions of the Placer County Sheriff’s Office or your local law enforcement agency and remember that your evacuation route may be on foot depending on the type of disaster.
  • Develop a family/household communication and reunification plan so that you can maintain contact and take the best actions for each of you and reunite if you are separated.
  • Assemble supplies

    that are ready for evacuation, both a “Go Bag” you can carry when you evacuate on foot or public transportation and supplies for traveling by longer distances if you have a personal vehicle.

  • If you have a car:
  • Keep a full tank of gas in it if an evacuation seems likely.
  • Keep a half tank of gas in it at all times in case of an unexpected need to evacuate.
  • Gas stations may be closed during emergencies and unable to pump gas during power outages.
  • Plan to take one car per family to reduce congestion and delay.
  • Make sure you have a portable emergency kit in the car.
  • If you do not have a car, plan how you will leave if needed. Make arrangements with family and friends.

During an evacuation

  • Follow the Placer County Sheriff’s Office or your local law enforcement agency for local evacuation instructions.
  • Take your emergency Go Bag.
  • Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
  • Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters.
  • If time allows:
  • Call or email the contact in your family communication plan. Tell them where you are going.
  • Secure your home by closing and locking doors and windows.
  • Unplug electrical equipment such as radios, televisions and small appliances.
  • Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding.
  • If there is damage to your home and you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving.
  • Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
  • Wear sturdy shoes and clothing that provides some protection such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and a hat.
  • Check with neighbors who may need a ride.
  • Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts; they may be blocked.
  • Be alert for road hazards such as downed trees, blocked roads or bridges and downed power lines.

After an evacuation

  • If you evacuated, check with local officials both where you’re staying and back home before you travel.
  • Once you are safe, let friends and family know that you are out of harm's way at that you survived. 
  • Charge devices and consider getting back-up batteries in case power outages continue.
  • Fill up your gas tank and consider downloading a fuel app to check for outages along your route.
  • Bring supplies such as water and non-perishable food for the car ride.

Returning home

  • Residents returning to disaster-affected areas after significant events should expect and prepare for disruptions to daily activities and remember that returning home before debris is cleared is dangerous.
  • Avoid downed power or utility lines; they may be live with deadly voltage. 
  •  Stay away and report them immediately to your power or utility company.
  • Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home's electrical system.