Fire Season Preparedness

Douglas Co. Sheriff's Office - 08/14/18 

We are well into summer as well as fire season. What if a deputy came to your home and told you that your home was under a fire evacuation notice - would you know what to do? The Sheriff's Office works closely with fire agencies throughout fire season and makes decisions about public safety based upon information and recommendations from those officials. Evacuation notices are not taken lightly and are carefully planned and executed. 

We want to take a moment to encourage everyone, not just those affected by wildfires, to be informed, aware and prepared. Here are the three levels of evacuation and some associated tips. 
o    READY – Be Prepared. Residents should be aware of the danger potential that exists in their area, monitor emergency services websites and local media outlets for information. This is the time for preparation! All residents should be at this level of readiness at all times.
  • Make an evacuation plan and be sure everyone in your family understands it. 
  • Assign tasks to each family member for what to do during an evacuation level. 
  • Have a plan for pets and livestock. 
  • Designate a meeting place. This could be the home of a friend or family member or an evacuation shelter. 
  • Designate an out-of-the-area contact person to relay information about your welfare to family/friends. 
  • Make sure your home address is visible from the street. 
  • Make sure your driveways are wide enough for emergency vehicles to enter (10-12 feet wide).
  • Create a defensible space around your home using Firewise concepts. 
  • Create emergency kits which include supplies for you and everyone who lives in your home or visits regularly. Think about your pets too!
  • Keep your vehicles filled with fuel. 
o    SET – You must prepare to leave at a moment’s notice. This level indicates there is significant danger to your area and residents should either voluntarily relocate to a shelter or with family/friends outside of the affected area. If choosing to remain, be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice.  You may have time to gather necessary items, but doing so is at your own risk. It is important to know that this may be the only notice you receive. Emergency services cannot guarantee they will be able to notify you if conditions rapidly deteriorate.
  • Keep pets and livestock ready to go in case you need to evacuate in a hurry. 
  • Be sure to have your photo ID or something showing your current address in case you need access to evacuated areas.
  • Monitor local television and radio stations for updates. 
  • Move propane BBQ appliances and other flammables away from structures. 
o    GO – Leave immediately! Danger to the area is current or imminent and you should evacuate immediately. If you chose to ignore this advisement, you must understand that emergency services may not be able to assist you further. Do not delay leaving to gather any belongings or make efforts to protect your home. This will be the last notice you receive. 
  • Leave house lights on and windows closed. 
  • Let your emergency contact and/or family members know where you are going. 
Residents who have landline telephones may receive emergency notifications via an automated emergency notification system utilized by the Sheriff’s Office. However, residents who do not have a landline and rely only on a cell phone will not receive notification unless they register their cell phone number. To register your cell phone, please visit: 
It is our sincere hope that you never have to experience an evacuation, but that if you do you will know how to respond by preparing today for what could be your tomorrow.

Ready, Set, Go