Store your completed checklists in a location where they are easily and quickly accessible.
Develop a building evacuation plan—with at least 2 escape routes from each room.
Plan one or more evacuation routes away from the hazard site.
Determine a “Safe Meeting Place”—it should be easily accessible, out of the hazard area, and visible from the road on which JVFD responders will approach.
Pre-pack an evacuation kit for each household member, including pets—for each person, include a change of clothes, toiletries, necessary medications, etc. For pets, include food, bowls, medications, toys, etc. You may also want to set aside empty, labeled containers for such things as “Important Papers,” “Photo Albums,” or other treasured items so, in an emergency, you can just quickly place those items in the designated containers.
NOTE: Evacuation kits are different from emergency supplies kits. For information on the latter, see Create Emergency Kits.
Store evacuation kits and other containers in an easily accessible location for quick loading into the car(s).
Stay “gassed up”—keep enough gas in your car so you can evacuate via Peak-to-Peak Highway if the lower canyon roads are closed.
Keep some additional cash on hand (or in the evacuation kits) to be used in the event of an emergency.
If there is still Internet service, follow the QT and other online emergency information sources.
Listen to a weather/hazard radio (purchase one that reports hazards as well as weather, is programmable by county to report only Boulder County conditions, and has battery backup if the electricity goes out).
Listen for announcements over the town’s PA system. If you are unable to hear what’s being announced, go to a location in town where you can hear clearly; ask a neighbor; or if in close proximity, go to the town hall, fire hall, or evacuation center (probably Jamestown Elementary School) to get more information.
Pay attention to how much time you have to get out—minutes? hours?—and act accordingly.
IMPORTANT!: STAY ALERT. BE AWARE. DO NOT ONLY RELY ON OFFICIAL SOURCES. You are ultimately responsible for the safety of yourself and your loved ones.Stay alert to your particular surroundings and situation, and be prepared to act in the event of an emergency. Remember that “stuff happens”—during the Four Mile fire event, the Reverse 911 system was inoperative for approximately 2 hours.
AGAIN, REMEMBER . . . IT MAY COME DOWN TO “GRAB THE KIDS/PETS AND LEAVE IMMEDIATELY.” IF THAT’S THE CASE, THEN DO SO!
IF TIME PERMITS,do the following:
1. Gather and pack evacuation items in your car(s).
2. Inside the house:
In every room:
>> Close windows, and leave them unlocked.
>> Close all doors.
>> Turn on a light.
For stove or fireplace: open damper AND close stove door.
Turn on all outside lights.
3. Outside the house:
Move combustibles to outside of the defensible zone, for example, barbecue grill and lawn furniture.
Shut off gas/propane at the source; leave the propane tank lid open to indicate to first responders that the source is turned off.
Connect hoses and fill with water: bathroom tubs, garbage cans, or other large containers. Place the filled containers around the house.
If appropriate, attach a hose to your cistern, if any, and/or a hose to the water heater.
Place a ladder against the house in clear view.
Close the garage door.
If time permits, use outside hoses to spray down the house, siding, decks, and roof. DO NOT DO THIS UNLESS TIME PERMITS. DO NOT PUT YOUR LIFE IN JEOPARDY!
Final Checklist . . .
Make sure all evacuation items are in your (cars):
kids/pets, evacuation kits and containers (for example, important papers and treasured items), medications, etc. In an emergency, it’s easy to forget even the simplest, most obvious things. So do a final check just to be sure.
If evacuating by foot and leaving car(s) behind, LEAVE THE KEYS IN THE IGNITIONS(s), and the CAR DOORS UNLOCKED. This will allow first responders to move your cars in case they have to open up the area for better access for equipment and/or fire trucks.
Leave a NOTE ON THE FRONT DOOR saying you have evacuated and how/where you can be reached. This will let first responders know they can move on to checking your neighbors’ houses.
Close all external doors. DO NOT LOCK DOORS. This will allow first responders to minimize damage if they have gain access to fight a fire inside your house.
STOP AT THE FIRE STATION and tell them you have evacuated. This will help keep first responders out of harms’ way by not having to and look and account for you.