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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Keith May, Assistant Fire Chief, (510) 981-5508

MEETINGS TO PREPARE FOR WILDFIRE EVACUATIONS
Berkeley Hills residents need to prepare their households and neighborhoods

Berkeley, California (Tuesday, April 30, 2019) - Get ready to survive a potential wildfire in the Berkeley Hills by attending a wildfire preparedness forum in May. 

The Berkeley Fire Department will teach you how to create a "go bag" for your household, sign up for emergency alerts, and make a plan to leave rapidly with your family and neighbors.

The last two years' tragic Northern California wildfires heighten awareness of our own vulnerabilities in the Berkeley Hills. Berkeley Fire has scheduled meetings and created new tools to make it easier for Berkeley households to be ready for a wildfire. Take time now to learn about the fire threat, prepare your family, and practice evacuating.

Take these critical steps to not only safeguard your household, but to allow large numbers of firefighters to quickly access the hills in the event of a wildfire - which can spark quickly and move at extremely high speeds, leaving families with only minutes to leave.

LEARN:

Attend a community meeting to hear detailed information about preparing for a wildfire, including elements from the new Draft Wildfire Evacuation Plan. The meeting schedule is available below:

Evacuation and Household Preparedness
May 14, 2019
6-7pm
North Branch Berkeley Library
1170 The Alameda, Berkeley

Evacuation and Household Preparedness 
May 25, 2019
2-3pm
Claremont Branch Berkeley Library
2940 Benvenue Ave, Berkeley

Defensible Space, Fuel Mitigation, Fire Breaks, Evacuation, and Household Preparedness 
May 21, 2019
7-9pm
Wildfire Preparedness Forum
Northbrae Church
941 the Alameda

These meetings are held in wheelchair accessible locations. To request a disability-related accommodation(s) to participate in the meeting, including auxiliary aids or services, please contact the Disability Services Specialist at 981-6418 (V) or 981-6347 (TDD) at least three business days before the meeting date. Please refrain from wearing scented products to this meeting.

PREPARE:

Sign up for emergency information and evacuation notices via AC Alert, where you can decide which of your phone numbers you want alerted. You can also find information during emergencies by listening to 1610 AM, Berkeley's Emergency Radio Station.  Pack a "go bag" for each member of your household with the things you would need to safely evacuate. Learn more on our wildfire evacuation website.    

PRACTICE:

Make a plan to evacuate using two different routes by foot, and two routes for your family to leave via car. Practice using them. 

Plan for you and your neighbors to help each other. Make sure everyone knows to evacuate, and has a backup plan if they can't drive out.  The Berkeley Path Wanderers have very useful maps of the hills, which can help you plan your route.  In August, different hills neighborhoods will have the opportunity to practice evacuation with firefighters and other first responders. More information on these drills will be available in July.

BE AWARE:

The threat of a dangerous wildfire is highest in the hills on dry, windy days.  When the National Weather Service releases "Red Flag Day" notices you will see red flags flying on City flagpoles and receive a notification from the AC Alert system. On those days, be careful in the hills, avoiding anything that could cause a spark, and make sure your household is ready to rapidly evacuate.

The Office of Emergency Services helps the City of Berkeley and its people plan for, respond to, and recovery from disasters. Learn more about what you can do to get ready for disasters by visiting our websites about wildfire evacuation and all other hazards.

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