An Aero Methow Rescue Service Program

Hayley Riach



"Sheltering" Versus Staying Put

​Sometimes hunkering down at home is the best and safest way to ride out a crisis. 

This rarely applies when there is an evacuation order in effect! Remember to use common sense. Smell smoke? Hear sirens? Considering leaving!

Hunkering down at home is not the same thing as "sheltering  in place", which is a term specific to disasters related to chemical release. Learn more about being prepared to ride out a crisis at home, and what it means to "shelter in place". 

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Use common sense and available information to determine if there is an immediate danger. Listen to the radio and follow local evacuation instructions. If available, use the internet to stay informed and evaluate your risks. If you are in doubt about whether to stay or go, err on the side of caution and leave.

Okanogan County Emergency Management is a key source of information for evacuation status. If you can get online, visit Okanogan County Emergency Management's Facebook Page for updates.

However, in any emergency, local authorities may or may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. 

The Ready Set Go program offers great tips for preparing for and evaluating the need for evacuation as it relates to wildfire. Much of the information is pertinent to a general evacuation situation. 

​Ready Set Go General Wildfire Evacuation Guide

Ready Set Go Tips for Seasonal Residents and Homeowners

Ready Set Go Tips for Farmers and Ranchers

Quick Evacuation Overview

If Evacuation Seems Likely:

Using supplies from your disaster supplies kit, make an evacuation pack that you can grab at a moment’s notice. Most items from this kit will easily fit into a medium size duffle bag or backpack. Assemble a backpack for each member of your family.

Keep a full tank of gas in your car. Gas stations may be closed during emergencies and unable to pump gas during power outages.

Before Evacuating

  1. Secure your home by closing and locking doors and windows.
  2. Unplug electrical equipment such as radios, televisions and small appliances. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding.
  3. If you smell or hear propane leaking, shut off your propane tank. Leaking propane smells like rotten eggs and usually makes a hissing sound. Gas leaks and explosions are responsible for a significant number of fires following disasters. It is vital that all responsible household members know how to shut off all your utilities.
  4. Consider reaching out with those in your vicinity who might need assistance evacuating. Double check they are getting the help they need.
  5. Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.