A variety of emergencies may require an evacuation. You may have a few hours to prepare, other circumstances may require an immediate evacuation. If time allows, there are important steps you can take to better prepare yourself and your property before you leave.

Download and print the following checklist of pre-evacuation steps and keep it visible — near your front door, on the refrigerator, or next to the garage door opener — and follow the checklist when time allows:

Download the Evacuation Checklist

Evacuation Alerting Tools

Depending on the emergency and the conditions, public safety officials may utilize a variety of ways to alert you that it is time to evacuate. Below is information on local alerting systems that you need to be aware of for an evacuation. Reminder:  Always use your best judgment in an emergency. If you feel unsafe, spot fires ignite, or conditions change, don’t wait for an evacuation order; leave early if unsure to avoid being trapped by severe conditions.

AlertLCF – Notification by phone call, text, and/or email

In the event of an evacuation, local emergency officials will use AlertLCF to reach you. You must register for emergency notifications at ALERT LCF to receive evacuations notices by phone call, text, and/or email. Evacuation notices sent through ALERT LCF will use the following terminology:

  • EVACUATION ORDER:  Immediate threat to life. This is a lawful order to leave now. The area is lawfully closed to public access.
  • EVACUATION WARNING: Potential threat to life and/or property. Those who require additional time to evacuate, and those with pets and livestock should leave now.
  • SHELTER-IN-PLACE: Go indoors. Shut and lock doors and windows. Prepare to self-sustain until further notice and/or contacted by emergency personnel for additional direction.
  • Evacuation Order(s) Lifted: The formal announcement of lifting evacuations in an area currently under evacuation.
  • Hard Closure: Closed to all traffic except Fire and Law Enforcement.
  • Soft Closure: Closed to all traffic except Fire, Law Enforcement and critical Incident resources (i.e. Utility, Caltrans, City/County Roads etc. or those needed to repair or restore infrastructure).Resident Only Closure: Soft closure with the additional allowance of residents and local government agencies assisting with response and recovery.

Additional Alerting Tools

Additional alerting tools such as WEA, and social media will also be used to notify you in the event of a large-scale emergency evacuation. Learn more about all of these systems at KnowYourAlerts.

Preparedness Tips

It’s important to plan ahead for disasters. Give your household the best chance of surviving a disaster by being ready to go and evacuating early. This includes going through pre-evacuation preparation steps to increase your home’s defenses, as well as creating evacuation and emergency plans for your family.

Take Steps Now to Better Prepare Your Household for an Evacuation

Take these steps to be ready in advance:

  • Create a Family Disaster Plan that includes meeting locations and communications plans and rehearse it regularly. Include the evacuation of large animals such as horses in your plan.
  • Have a portable radio or scanner so you can stay updated on the fire and weather emergency announcements.
  • Sign up to receive local alerts for when you need them. Sign up at ALERT LCF.
  • Be prepared for power outages. Visit the Southern California Edison’s PSPS page for more information.
  • Ensure that your family knows where your gas, electric, and water main shut- off controls are and how to use them.
  • Plan and practice all of your different evacuation routes out of your home and neighborhood.
  • Know how to open your garage door manually.
  • Designate an emergency meeting location outside the hazard area.
  • Have fire extinguishers on hand and teach your family how to use them.
  • Appoint an out-of-area friend or relative as a point of contact so you can communicate with family members.
  • Pack an emergency Go Bag/emergency supply kit for each member of your family. For Guidance on what to pack, refer to the list below or visit the Red Cross Emergency Preparedness Page.
  • Maintain a list of emergency contact numbers in Go Bag/Emergency Supply Kit.
What to Pack in Your Go Bag/Emergency Supply Kit

The American Red Cross recommends every family have an emergency supply kit assembled long before a wildland fire or other emergency occurs. Use the list below to help assemble yours. For more information on emergency supplies, visit the Red Cross Emergency Preparedness Page.

  • Three-day supply of water (one gallon per person, per day) and non-perishable food for family (3 day supply).
  • Non perishable food for all family members and pets (three-day supply).
  • First aid kit and sanitation supplies.
  • Flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries.
  • An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash, or traveler’s checks.
  • Extra eyeglasses, contact lenses, prescriptions, and medications.
  • Important family documents and contact numbers, including insurance documents.
  • Map marked with evacuation routes.
  • Easily carried valuables and irreplaceable items.
  • Personal electronic devices and chargers.
  • Keep a pair of old shoes and a flashlight handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night.