Empowerment Tips for Wildfire Season

As Oregon heads into the 2020 wildfire season, there are actions each of us can do to prepare ourselves, our families and our homes. 

Preparing your family in advance of an emergency is important.  Oregon Office of Emergency Management encourages individuals and families to be 2 Weeks Ready – a tangible action that creates self-sufficiency for at least 14 days in the midst or in the aftermath of an emergency or disaster. Have a “go kit,” make an action plan and communicate the plan with your family.  

In addition, be familiar with “Ready, Set, Go” emergency evacuation levels and sign up for emergency alerts in your county to receive evacuation notifications. 

“We can all do our part when it comes to prevention and knowing what to do when wildfire threatens our home and our community,” said OEM Director Andrew Phelps. “In spite of the countless ways COVID-19 has changed our lives, these steps can help heighten levels of certainty and empowerment when it comes to personal safety. 

The statewide evacuation system is used to notify communities facing a threat, or potential threat, to lives and property. Evacuation levels are as follows:

• Level 1 Evacuation means “BE READY” for potential evacuation. Residents should be aware of the danger that exists in their area, monitor emergency services websites and local media outlets for information. This is the time for preparation and precautionary movement of persons with special needs, and in some cases, pets and livestock. 

• Level 2 Evacuation means “BE SET” to evacuate. You should be ready to leave at a moment’s notice as this level indicates there is significant danger to your area. Residents should be prepared to voluntarily relocate to a shelter or with family/friends outside of the affected area. Residents may have time to gather necessary items, but doing so is at their own risk.

• Level 3 Evacuation means “GO.” Leave immediately! Danger to your area is current or imminent. If you choose to ignore this advisement, emergency services may not be available to assist you further. Do not delay leaving to gather any belongings or make efforts to protect your home.

Each year, OEM partners with the Department of Forestry, the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Keep Oregon Green and other state agencies to promote wildfire awareness and preparedness. For more information on how to be 2 Weeks Ready, or other personal preparedness resources, visit www.oregon.gov/oem/2WeeksReady.