Everyone is required to stay home, except for essential needs. When out, protect yourself and those around you by wearing a face covering, staying 6 feet away from others, and washing your hands often. Learn more at cityofberkeley.info/covid19. City offices are closed to the public. Some services are available remotely.

The City of Berkeley Health Officer has ordered all residents to shelter at home, leaving only to receive or provide essential services, starting 12:01 am on Tuesday, March 17. See details of the Order, frequently asked questions, and recommendations from Berkeley Public Health at https://www.cityofberkeley.info/coronavirus.

City Council Live Stream: Please visit https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventWebcastMain.aspx

ZAB Live Stream: Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx.

The City of Berkeley web site is undergoing scheduled maintenance starting on Friday night, September 13 and ending on Saturday afternoon, September 14. During this time, most web pages should be available, but some resources may become unavailable for short periods of time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 5/9/19, at 7:00pm? Please visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1UAnZ8kU8EWllREyOY7rwQ/. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 2/28/19, from 6:00 to 11:00 PM? Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same date and time.

PG&E is reporting a widespread outage affecting thousands of customers in Berkeley and many City buildings, including the Finance Customer Service Center and the Permit Service Center. Call respective City services for further details, or check the PG&E outage page. Power is expected to return by 12:45pm. Traffic lights that are not working should be treated as a four-way stop sign.

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WITH HIGH FIRE DANGER AND POWER SHUTOFFS LIKELY, BE READY TO EVACUATE IN A WILDFIRE
If possible, hills residents should plan to stay elsewhere until fire danger subsides

Berkeley, California (Friday, October 23, 2020) - With high fire danger starting Sunday at 11am, everyone in Berkeley, especially residents in the Berkeley hills, should stay on heightened alert, keep phones charged and nearby, and consider leaving the hills before Sunday afternoon - especially if they would have trouble getting out quickly in a fire. People who live east of Claremont and residents of Panoramic Hill should also prepare for potential power shutoffs.

A Red Flag Warning has been issued for the Berkeley hills from 11am Sunday, October 25 to 5am Tuesday, October 27. Update, 10/25: The Red Flag Warning has been extended to 5pm on Tuesday, October 27. Current forecasts project winds in the region to be as strong or stronger than those present during 2019's devastating Kincade Fire and the 2017 wine country fires. Combined with record-low moisture levels, these winds are expected to create the most dangerous fire weather Berkeley has seen so far this year. The combination of strong winds, low humidity, and dry vegetation enables wildfires to spark and spread rapidly.

In addition, PG&E has announced plans for a public safety power shutoff (PSPS) for parts of Berkeley starting as early as 4pm on Sunday, October 25. PG&E has told the City that it anticipates that 1,500 Berkeley customers are likely to be impacted. This is the first time this year PG&E has included Berkeley in a PSPS event -- an indication of how serious this wind event is expected to be.

The City has staffed and positioned additional fire resources and added police patrols in the hills. Additional vehicles and portable speakers have been moved to fire stations to facilitate an evacuation if needed.

A Task Force of Fire and Forestry responders will be ready to rapidly respond to downed trees blocking evacuation routes. Residents can help by reporting broken branches and fallen trees to 3-1-1 or (510) 981-2489. Call 9-1-1 only for immediate life safety issues.

Sign up for alerts to stay informed

Everyone should sign up for AC Alert, the emergency notification system for Berkeley and Alameda County. In a fire evacuation, power shutoff, or other disaster, we will use AC Alert to send instructions and information.

Use the PG&E power shutoff map and sign up for address-specific alerts from PG&E to be notified if you will be impacted by PG&E power shutoffs. PG&E has stated that information about this weekend's event will be posted on the map after 8pm on Friday, October 23.

To be safest, leave the area early if you can

Hills residents should consider preemptively relocating to the homes of friends, family, or to hotels until dangerous weather subsides. This is not an order to evacuate. If a fire threatens Berkeley, we will issue evacuation orders using AC Alert. Given the severity of this threat, we feel it is important to give residents ample time to prepare. *

Especially during high winds, wildfires can spark, spread, and change directions rapidly.  Fallen branches and trees may block roads. The best way to stay in control and reduce the risk to your household is to leave before a fire starts. This is especially true for residents who would have trouble getting out quickly or on foot.

The narrow, windy street network in the Berkeley hills can get crowded quickly.  The more people who leave the area in advance, the more space there will be on roads if an evacuation is required.

Because fires are unpredictable, we could only announce safe evacuation sites after a fire starts and we know what areas are threatened. Everyone should* make a plan in advance to get off the hill, and keep phones and radios ready to receive instructions for where to go. If an evacuation is ordered, we will send instructions over AC Alert and broadcast on 1610AM.*

Special considerations for evacuating during COVID-19

Think about who in your network you might be able to stay with if an evacuation is ordered and reach out to them now. Because of the dangers of large groups gathering indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic, if an evacuation is ordered there will be fewer shelter options than under normal circumstances.*

Talk in advance with people you might stay with about COVID-19 safety and what precautions you would take while all under the same roof. Review CDC guidance for people living in close quarters. If you can, identify households that don't include people over 65 years old or who have pre-existing medical conditions that make them more susceptible to COVID-19.*

Discount hotel rates for Berkeleyans during Red Flag Warnings

Several hotels are offering special discounts for Berkeley residents during Red Flag Warnings in October and November. Hills residents are encouraged to take advantage of these relief rates during this period of heightened threat.

HotelRateInstructions
DoubleTree by Hilton
200 Marina Blvd, (510) 548-7920
$129 Ask for Berkeley Relief Rate. Must have Berkeley address. Parking fee $30.
Bancroft Hotel
2680 Bancroft, (510) 549-1000
$90 Includes continental breakfast.
Graduate Hotel
2600 Durant, (510) 845-8981
$99 Call or book online: promo code RELIEF
Hotel Shattuck Plaza
2086 Allston, (510) 845-7300
$119 Call and ask for "CA Fire Evacuee" 
LaQuinta Hotel
920 University, (510) 849-1121
15% off Call and ask for Berkeley Relief Rate
Downtown Berkeley Inn
2001 Bancroft, (510) 843-4043
$99 Ask for Berkeley Relief Rate
Super 8 Motel
1619 University, (510) 841-3844
$99 Ask for Berkeley Relief Rate
Golden Bear Inn
1620 San Pablo, (510) 525-6770
$99-$119

Ask for Berkeley Relief Rate.
Nash Hotel
2045 University, (510) 841-1163
10% off Ask for Berkeley Relief Rate. Make reservations online. No parking.
Howard Johnsons
1512 University, (510) 845-7090
$99 Ask for Berkeley Relief Rate

Steps everyone should take during Red Flag Warnings

The City has mobilized staff across all departments to respond rapidly to this developing situation.  Residents need to prepare as well. The basic precautions all hills residents should take during every Red Flag Warning are especially important now:

  • Sign up for AC Alert
  • Leave your phone on and keep it with you
  • Put go-bags by the door
  • Review evacuation routes
  • Park off-street to keep roadways clear for emergency vehicles
  • Back into your driveway or garage so you can exit more quickly

Print out our wildfire evacuation checklist and keep it in a prominent location. Get more information on creating a go-bag, preparing your home, identifying evacuation routes, getting ready to evacuate, and what to do during an evacuation at cityofberkeley.info/wildfire.

Berkeley's hills are not immune to wildfires similar to those ravaging communities across the West Coast. Gain control. Prepare. If you can, evacuate before a fire starts.

Links

This page was edited on Friday, October 23 shortly after publication to correct the start time for high fire danger in the first sentence. The original version said 4pm.

This page was edited on Saturday, October 24 to correct two links in the resources list.

* Some language in this paragraph was edited on Saturday, October 24 to clarify intent of this message.

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