Prepare Your Family for a Wildfire

Courtesy Tahoe Fire & Fuels Team & Cal Fire

Residents and visitors need to be prepared to evacuate in the event of an emergency. Take the time to prepare a wildfire action plan and use this checklist to prepare your family and home.

Wildfire Action Plan

  • Meet with household members. Explain dangers to children & work as a team to prepare.
  • Discuss what to do about power outages & personal injuries.
  • Post emergency phone numbers near phones (cell service may be down in an emergency)
  • Learn how to turn off the water, gas & electricity.
  • Select a safe meeting point in case you are separated.
  • Complete a family communications plan that includes contact information for family members, work & school.
  • Teach children how to make phone calls.
  • Complete an inventory of home contents & photograph/video the house & landscape. Place files in your Go Bag & store a second copy elsewhere.
  • Identify escape routes & safe places. Draw an escape plan highlighting two routes out of each room. Be sure everyone in your family knows them.
  • Prepare an EVACUATED sign (provided in our guide). Select a site to post signs where they will be clearly visible from the street.
  • Prepare to address the special needs of vulnerable populations, including the elderly & people with medical problems or disabilities.
  • If the family member is dependent upon medications, equipment or has special dietary needs, plan to bring those items with you. Documentation about insurance & medical conditions should also accompany the person.
  • Plan transportation in advance for anyone with special needs.
  • Make sure dogs & cats wear properly fitted collars with identification, vaccination, microchip & license tags.
  • Exchange veterinary information with neighbors & file a permission slip with the veterinarian authorizing emergency care for your animals.
  • Make sure all vehicles, trailers & pet carriers needed for evacuation are serviced & ready to be used.
  • Assemble a pet Go Bag.

Preserve water for firefighters

Do not leave on sprinklers or hoses if you evacuate. It diminishes water pressure in systems used by firefighters.

Long-term disaster kit

Prepare a disaster supplies kit in case of an extended evacuation at an emergency shelter or for returning to a home without functioning electricity and water. Details available in the digital edition of this guide at

Follow the Six Ps for immediate evacuations

  • People & pets
  • Papers, phone numbers & important documents
  • Prescriptions, vitamins & eyeglasses
  • Pictures & irreplaceable memorabilia
  • Personal computer hard drive & disks
  • Plastic (credit cards, ATM cards) & cash

Read our 3rd Annual Wildfire Preparedness Guide