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Evacuation Best Practices for Wildfire Season

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Oregon Department of Emergency Management shares evacuation resources and best practices to help people stay safe during wildfire season

 

Oregon evacuation levelsSALEM, Ore. – May 28, 2024 – The Oregon Department of Emergency Management (OEM) encourages Oregonians to prepare for the upcoming wildfire season by staying informed, having an emergency plan and packing a go-kit. People can find an evacuation checklist, live wildfire and evacuation maps, and wildfire preparedness and prevention tips at wildfire.oregon.gov.

“Oregon follows a three-level evacuation notification system structured around the readiness need and threat level,” said OEM Director Erin McMahon. “People should be familiar with the ‘Be Ready, Be Set, Go Now’ evacuation levels and their meaning. They should also evacuate anytime they feel unsafe, as conditions can change rapidly. Being prepared and knowing what to do when you receive an evacuation notice can help keep you and your household safe during a wildfire or other disaster.”

Level one (green on a map) means BE READY to evacuate. Be aware of the danger in the area and prepare to evacuate.

  • Sign up for local emergency alerts at ORAlert.gov to be notified of an evacuation.
  • Check phone settings to ensure wireless emergency alerts are turned on.
  • Have an emergency plan that names an out-of-area contact, a meeting place outside of the hazard area, and how to contact each other if separated.
  • Put together a go-kit of essential health and safety supplies and identification for each person and pet.
  • Call 211 or visit 211info.org for shelter options.
  • Use TripCheck.com or call 511 to map out evacuation routes.
  • Older adults, families with children, people with disabilities, livestock and pet owners, and those with limited access to transportation should consider evacuating at level one.

Level two (yellow on a map) means BE SET to evacuate. There is significant danger in the area and people should be ready to leave with short notice.

  • Continue to stay informed; check for updates through local city and county websites, social media, TV and radio.
  • Consider relocating to a safe place outside of the affected area.
  • Inform loved ones of plans and destinations.

Level three (red on a map) means GO NOW – Leave Immediately! There is extreme danger, and it is unsafe to stay.

  • Grab the go-kits.
  • Follow the emergency plan.
  • Leave as fast as safely possible; do not stop and gather belongings or protect the home.
  • Emergency responders may not be available to help those who choose to stay.
  • Do not return to the area until officials announce the area is safe.

OEM offers a statewide evacuation service that provides greater situational awareness of impacts on communities and lets people view estimated populations affected by evacuation. View this GIS StoryMap to learn more and visit oregon.gov/oem for additional preparedness information.

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