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 their Facebook Page for updates.
In any emergency, local authorities may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do.
Quick Evacuation Overview
Using supplies from your disaster supplies kit, make an evacuation pack that you can grab at a moment’s notice. 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 power outages.
The "Ready Set Go" Program
This 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.
"Sheltering" vs. Staying Put
Sometimes staying at home is the safest way to ride out a crisis, but this rarely applies when there is an evacuation order in effect!
Smell smoke? Hear sirens? Use common sense: consider leaving!
In the case of fire, only if your life would be threatened by leaving should you stay put. In that case, stay in the middle of your house, away from windows, until the fires moves through your direct vicinity. This is obviously a last resort. Best to get out early!
Hunkering down at home is not the same thing as "sheltering in place," which is a term specific to chemical-release disasters.
To learn more about sheltering in place, click here.
Close and lock doors/windows.
Unplug electrical equipment. (You can leave freezers/fridges unless there is a fear of flooding.)
Shut off your propane tank if you smell or hear gas leaking (smells like rotten eggs and usually makes a hissing sound). Gas leaks and explosions cause a significant number of post-disaster fires.
Reach out to neighbors who might need assistance evacuating.
Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.