News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Tips on setting up a fire evacuation plan

The Oregon Department of Emergency Management (OEM) urges all Oregonians to prepare for the upcoming wildfire season by having an evacuation plan.

OEM says that taking simple steps to prepare today can make a big difference in being ready when an evacuation occurs.

Stay informed

Residents can sign up for emergency alerts to be notified when there is an evacuation. Visit ORAlert.gov to find your local alert system by city, county or zip code. Those who are already registered to receive alerts should log in and confirm their contact information is updated. Also, residents should check their phone settings to ensure that wireless emergency alerts are turned on.

Community members also should become familiar with the emergency management website (https://wildfire.oregon.gov/Pages/evacuations.aspx) and know where to find local emergency information. Those who use social media are encouraged to follow local emergency services in their area such as the county, city, sheriff’s office and fire agency.

Have a plan

OEM offers an evacuation checklist that can be used as a guide. Establish a communication plan with a list of important contacts and a safe place for loved ones to meet if they are separated during an emergency. Identify multiple evacuation routes from home, work or school and plan for transportation needs. Discuss the plan with your families, friends and neighbors and practice it so everyone knows what to do during an emergency.

People with disabilities should consider individual circumstances and specific needs when planning for evacuation, such as special equipment, transportation and service animals.

Residents also should develop an evacuation plan for pets and large animals such as horses and other livestock. Plan for transportation of large animals and identify sheltering options.

Make a go-kit

Assemble an emergency kit of essential supplies that can be grabbed in a hurry. Pack an easy-to-carry backpack or bag for each member of the household with health and safety items. Visit ready.gov for recommended emergency kit items.

Evacuation Levels

Oregon follows a three-level evacuation notification system, each structured around the readiness need and threat level. Oregonians should become familiar with “Be Ready, Be Set, Go!” evacuation levels. OEM urges people to evacuate any time they feel unsafe, as conditions can change rapidly. 

• Level One means “BE READY” to evacuate. Community members should be aware of the danger in their area and stay informed. Check county, city and emergency services websites and local news for information. This is the time to pack and prepare to leave. Check with loved ones and emergency contacts. Reach out to neighbors, share information and ask for help if needed. Some people should consider leaving early if they can’t move quickly and need more time to evacuate.

• Level Two means “BE SET” to evacuate. This level indicates there’s significant danger in the area and community members should be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice. 

Voluntary evacuation at Level Two is recommended, especially if people need extra time or have livestock to move. Don’t wait for another evacuation notice if it doesn’t feel safe to stay.

• Level Three means “GO.” Leave immediately. This level indicates there’s extreme danger in the area and it’s unsafe to stay. Emergency services may not be available to offer further assistance to those who choose to stay. People should not stop to gather their belongings or make any efforts to protect their homes or shelter. 

Following an evacuation, people should not return to the area until public safety officials announce it’s safe. Find more information and resources at Wildfire.Oregon.gov/prepare.

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