Nevada County OES: Updated Emergency Evacuation Language

The Pleasant Fire in Penn Valley, early in the season

March 12, 2018 – When an emergency happens, it is important to understand what to do to help keep you and your family safe. This could be evacuating immediately, preparing to evacuate, sheltering-in-place, or being rescued. Remember, if a public safety official tells you that need to evacuate it is because your safety is immediately threatened and you could be interfering in the work of emergency personnel by staying in an area.

Nevada County’s Office of Emergency Services has been working on how to better communicate with residents during emergency events, including updating their emergency evacuation language. During the evacuations for last year’s Lobo and McCourtney fires, residents expressed confusion around evacuation orders and if they were required to evacuate or not. To minimize the chance of confusion, Nevada County’s evacuation language now matches the language that public safety officials, such as CalFire, use.

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Residents should familiarize themselves with the evacuation language below and register for CodeRed, the County’s emergency alert system, to prepare for an emergency event. Registering your landline or your cell phone can alert you of an emergency in your neighborhood.

Immediate Evacuation Order:
Requires the immediate movement of people out of an affected area due to an imminent threat to life. Choosing to stay could result in loss of life. Staying may also impede the work of emergency personnel. Due to the changing nature of the emergency, this Immediate Evacuation Order may be the only warning that people in the affected area(s) receive.

Evacuation Warning:
Alerts people in an affected area(s) of potential threat to life and property. People who need additional time should consider evacuating at this time. An Evacuation Warning considers the probability that an area will be affected and prepares people for a potential Immediate Evacuation Order.

Shelter-In-Place:
Advises people to stay secure at their current location by remaining in place as evacuation will cause a higher potential for loss of life.

Rescue:
Emergency actions taken within the affected area to recover and remove injured or trapped citizens. Responders have specific training and personal protective equipment necessary to accomplish the mission i.e., hazard material spill, swift-water rescue, etc. Boundaries of the areas where rescue is planned should be identified on the incident map with notification that entry is restricted to rescue workers only.

Prepare for a wildfire with the 2017-2018 Fire Season Guide created in partnership by Nevada County’s Office of Emergency Services, Fire Safe Council of Nevada County, and local public safety agencies. If you need assistance signing-up for CodeRed, call Nevada County’s Office of Emergency Services at (530) 265-1212.