Emergency Preparedness

After years of fires in Sonoma County, our community in West County knows the stress of watching the sky, following the news, and even evacuating. The number one lesson? Prepare. Be ready. Our cognitive capabilities decline under stress: our ability to think is reduced to survival skills —not critical thinking. Reduce the stress of fire season (or any disaster), and improve your chances of having fewer regrets: take action to prepare and then rest easy knowing you already know what you will do, where things are, who you will contact, and where you will go.

This page offers an overview of four important steps to take to plan for an emergency:

    • Know Your Zone: The importance of knowing your evacuation zone
    • Make a Plan: How to make a wildfire action plan for yourself, your home, and your neighborhood
    • Build a Go Bag: Make sure you have an emergency supply kit at the ready
    • Stay Informed: Download and bookmark Mobile apps, real-time maps, and other tools for staying aware

Know Your Zone

One of the most important things is for you and others in your household to know your evacuation zone! Know your evacuation zone for both home and work.

Look up your address, or if you are on your cell phone – use your current location. Put your ADDRESS into the evacuation map web page to find the exact route for where you live. Post your zone on your refrigerator and make a note of it on in your Notes app on your phone so you can find it if you need a reminder.

Make a Plan

When action is required, a plan will give you the confidence to act and the tools to stay safe. Make sure to complete step one (knowing your evacuation zone!). Review your medical information and evacuation routes.

Being prepared means you have what you need for yourself, your household, and your neighborhood. Click below to learn more about what you can do to be better prepared in each area.

Build a GO-Bag

Now that you have plans in place, make sure you have what you need to stay safe. Pack critical necessities for yourself, family members, and pets. Three resources for putting together an emergency go-bag as well as ensuring your home is equipped with supplies and materials needed to respond to an emergency:

Stay Informed

The apps and maps outlined below are recommended for staying informed of local emergencies and fires that have the potential to lead to evacuations. 

    Mobile Apps

    There are a handful of relevant apps every resident of California should have downloaded and at the ready in the event of an emergency! These are our favorite: download them, click around and see which ones are the most intuitive and useful to you.

    Watch Duty is a non-profit that provides realtime alerting and monitoring of Wildfires in the American West. For updates about fires, wind conditions, etc: Watch Duty incorporates fire mapping, wind direction, Cal Fire aircraft tracking, and more.

    PulsePoint notications provide an early heads-up to local threats such as woodland fires, floods and utility emergencies. Get local fire and ambulance dispatch information! You can customize what kind of notifications you’d like to receive,

    ALERTCalifornia is a public safety program working to understand wildfires and other natural hazards and determine short and long-term impacts on people and the environment to inform management decisions.

    Broadcastify is an ongoing audio stream of local emergency agency radios.

    Interactive Maps

    Visit these sites and see which maps make sense for you to bookmark! Enter in your location and then save your favorites as Mobile Bookmarks in your browser so it is easy for you to pull up on your phone in the event of an emergency.

    Sonoma County Incident Map for tracking fire incidents in the area

    WiFire Map provides satellite updates approximately every 6 hours

    The EPA’s Airnow Fire and Smoke Map provides information to help protect your health from wildfire smoke

    Windy Map is a wind forecast map for your area

    FlightRadar24 Map is a flight tracking service with real-time information

    ADSB Exchange Map, the world’s largest source of unfiltered flight data

    After you download apps and bookmark these maps, have a listen to KOWS radio, an FCC-designated Emergency Alert Station (EAS) that can be streamed wherever there’s an Internet connection!

    Redundancy is key. Make sure you have...

    An individual making an emergency plan in case of a fire in West County!

    Redundant power. Experts warn of multiple PG&E power outages in “red flag” conditions — high temperature and wind, low humidity. Will you be ready if your power is out for 24 hours or more?

    Learn more about how to prepare for a power outage here.

    Home and Family

    Redundant warning signals. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department utilizes several channels: NIXLE alerts, phone calls to landlines (SoCOAlert), NOAA weather/disaster alert radios, the Occidental Volunteer Fire Department siren. If one signal fails to alert you, will you respond to another?

    Sign up for multiple alerts – check out the maps and apps above!

    An individual making an emergency plan in case of a fire in West County!

    Redundant evacuation routes. In the event of a disaster, do you have more than one way out of your neighborhood? If all routes are blocked do you have a “shelter in place” location? Make sure you can answer these questions:

    Join your local Community Organization or Neighborhood Group today!