Editor’s Note: On Monday, November 12, 2018 from 9:00 am to 10:00 am KVMR 89.5 will broadcast a special program, hosted by Program Director Steve Baker about the fire danger we face as a community. Join us on the air with your questions, comments and suggestions.
NEVADA CITY, Calif. November 11, 2018 – It may be November, but peak fire season is not over. The Camp Fire destroyed properties in the first 24 hours at a rate of 80 acres per minute. The loss of lives is heartbreaking.
Lack of seasonal precipitation, winds from the north and east, low relative humidity and fuel moisture at record lows – with climate change as a force multiplier – lead to more catastrophic fires every year. Would you be ready if a fire were to break out now? Or, more accurately, will you be ready when a fire breaks out in your neighborhood?
Nevada County residents should sign up for the county’s emergency alert system Code Red. Alerts can be sent via voice or text. Landline owners should have a corded backup phone that does not require power to receive and make calls.
Add CodeRED’s two phone numbers 1(866) 419-5000 and 1(855) 969-4636 to your cell phone and/or landline contacts as “CodeRED Emergency Alerts.” This way, when you receive a phone call from either of CodeRED’s phone numbers during an emergency event, you will be able to recognize the call as a CodeRED alert rather than easily mistaking the 1-866 or 1-855 number as a telemarketer. [source: Nevada County OES]
Mind your Ps
If you just have minutes to leave, remember the essential Ps:
- Personal computers
Everyone in your home needs to be aware of “the plan.” Where to meet up in case of an emergency, how to get in touch and most importantly, how to get out. If you have to evacuate, make sure everyone leaves!
They are part of your family, right? Have carriers, food and water for your pets ready, trailers for horses and livestock. If you can’t evacuate your horses or livestock, do not lock them in a barn. Write your phone number on a hoof and let them run.
Don’t forget any prescription medication you take, plan for a week at least.
Take important papers with you (or get certified copies.) Passports, deeds, IDs etc.
If you have a landline, have a phone that does not need power. In an emergency, power is often shut off and you wouldn’t be able to get the evacuation notice because cordless phones require power. Charge your mobile devices and have extra chargers in your vehicle. Also, make a list of important phone numbers. If your cell phone is out of power, your contact list is unavailable.
Mementos, photos can be irreplaceable. If you have time to grab them, great.
Desktops, laptops, portable hard drives, tablets.
Yes, parking. If a Red Flag Warning is in effect or a fire is burning in the vicinity, park your car facing the roadway. During an evacuation traffic will be dense, avoid an accident just pulling out of your driveway. Pro Tip: Turn your headlights on!
Prepare for a possible power outage and check if you are able to open your garage door manually. If your garage door is too heavy, park your car in the driveway.
Be aware of weather conditions. Check your local media for red flag warnings, fire weather watches and prepare your Go Bag. Better yet, keep one Go Bag in your vehicle and one at home. Prepare a checklist of items/actions to take if/when you receive an evacuation warning or an immediate evacuation order. Have a plan where to meet up with your family, who to contact and how to get out of your area.
Once you are prepared, practice!
Do you have emergency preparedness tips to share? Post them in the comments below and we’ll add them to this list.