NEVADA CITY, Calif. March 11, 2020 – There are many similarities between wildfire and pandemic preparedness, which can greatly simplify your “getting ready while life goes on.”

At this time (Morning hours of March 11, 2020) there are no known cases of COVID-19 in Nevada County, just as there is no large wildfire burning. Neither should keep you from preparing for both. It is not a question of if, but when a wildfire/cases of coronavirus will happen in our area. By preparing now, you and your family increase your chances of weathering any type of emergency.

Numerous escaped burn piles and very dry conditions are exacerbating fire danger right now. Similarly, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to rise worldwide, in the United States and California.

During any emergency, misinformation is rampant and at times spreads faster than factual information. The ensuing panic only hampers containment efforts by agencies and can harm community members. By being well-informed and prepared, community members strengthen their individual/family resiliency and contribute to the overall community preparedness.

Nevada County Public Health is also planning with local health care providers and Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, Nevada County Superintendent of Schools, first responders such as fire and law enforcement agencies, the local business community and the public to help increase community preparedness in case of transmission of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). As COVID-19 has spread, Public Health is preparing for the possibility of local, sustained community transmission. Public Health is reaching out to these community partners to discuss what their planning efforts may include and share recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions, which are actions that individuals and communities can take to help slow the spread of illnesses. [source: Nevada County Coronavirus website]

Local businesses and organizations are actively preparing and your support of the local economy is important. Events may be postponed to avoid large gatherings at this time. By slightly altering your routines and being situationally aware (stay home if sick, pay attention to weather forecasts – especially Red Flag Warnings and No Burn Days, practice social distancing) you can minimize disruptions in your daily life.

Emergency preparation time is now – your health and safety are a top priority.

Same prep for different emergencies

Wildfire preparedness

  • Have a plan
  • Take an inventory. Do you have enough food, medications and other necessities to sustain you and your family if you needed to evacuate?
  • Access and functional needs populations may have additional needs before, during, and after an incident in functional areas, including but not limited to: maintaining independence, communication, transportation, supervision, and medical care.
  • Stay informed, using trusted news sources
    • Sign up for CodeRED or Nixle
    • Monitor local media too. Code Red emergency alerts only work when cell phone towers and telephone lines are working.
  • Find your Five and share your plan
  • Know where to go and have a backup plan.
  • Does your workplace have a business continuation plan and can you work remotely in case of a prolonged evacuation?

COVID-19 preparedness

An excellent visualization map by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) for Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases is here.

Watch the March 10, 2020 COVID-19 update from Nevada County Public Health.