A message from the Sheriff: Now is the time to review your emergency preparedness plan
By Todd Johns
Plumas County Sheriff and Plumas County Office of Emergency Services Director
Do you have your Personal Emergency Preparedness Plan in place? We all need to have a plan in place andit is even more important living in a rural county. Part of that plan may be neighbors helping neighbors as is evident in our current wildfires … we are all in it together. Here are some things you can do now to start your own personal preparedness plan.
- Sign up your cell phone with Plumas County’s reverse 911system “Code Red”. You must self-register to get emergency alerts. Landlines are automatically in the system, but many of us may not be home to receive a call. Sign up is easy and free. It may save your life in the event of an evacuation notification. Register through the Plumas County Sheriff’s office at www.plumascounty.us
- Get a back-up battery charger pack for your cell phone and make sure it has a full charge. If the power goes out or you are away from a charging source, this is a valuable thing to have to keep in communication with everyone.
- Have an out-of-town-contact for your family to call. If you get separated from family and loved ones in an emergency you can let them know you are safe. Don’t forget texts can get through easier than a phone call when many people are trying to call at once in an emergency.
- Know two routes out of your neighborhood in the event of evacuation. Drive them to see if they are still good and make them known to your entire family.
- If you had to evacuate, where would you go?During an evacuation, the Plumas County Sheriff is responsible for the decision to initiate different levels of evacuations depending on the emergency. In the event of a wildfire your route is dependent on which direction the fire is coming from. Shelters will be set up, however, many folks end up staying with friends or family. Now is a great time to think about who you could stay with, hotels (do you have a pet? do they take pets?) or where you would meet your family in different directions on either side of your community. Have that plan in place and be sure everyone in the family knows about it.
- Have a “Go Bag’ ready. Each person should have a bag packed with essential items, kept ready for use in the event of an emergency evacuation of one’s home. Sample lists are available on the Plumas Firesafe Council’s webpage under Fire and Emergency Preparedness tab. www.plumasfiresafe.org
- What about your pets?Be sure you are in contact with someone that knows your pets are at home in case something happens when you are gone.
- Videotape your house contents.Part of your emergency plan should include an inventory of your home contents in case something happens. Cell phone cameras are great- take a few hours and film every room slowly opening every drawer. Don’t forget to film the garage, sheds etc. In the event of a fire everything could need to be itemized- you’ll never remember it all! If you have the time, photos and copies of all your high value item receipts are the best, but a video that is stored away from home or in the cloud is a pretty quick easy bet.
For more information on creating your wildfire action plan go to www.readyforwildfire.org
Plumas County local fire and emergency preparedness: www.plumasfiresafe.org