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Ready, Set, Go!

Thousands of North Bay residents learned first-hand how important it is to have a go-bag packed and ready in the event of a fire in October. Pack an emergency supply kit ahead of time, and keep it accessible so you’re prepared if you have to evacuate. Backpacks work well for storing items (except food and water), and are quick to grab. Storing food and water in a tub or an ice chest on wheels will make it easier to transport, but keep it light enough so you can easily lift it into your car.

Here’s a list of items to pack for your emergency go-bag:

  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person
  • Map marked with (at least) two evacuation routes
  • Prescriptions or over-the-counter medications
  • Change of clothing
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash or traveler’s checks
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Copies of important documents such as birth certificates and passports
  • Food and water for your pet

Items to take if time allows:

  • Easily carried valuables
  • Family photos and other irreplaceable items
  • Personal computer information on hard drives and disks
  • Chargers for cell phones and laptops

Finally, always keep a sturdy pair of shoes and flashlight handy in case you must evacuate in the middle of the night.

Are You Prepared for an Earthquake?

Earthquakes are natural disaster that are unpredictable and unforgiving. While all 50 states are at risk to some level for earthquakes, seismic zones including California’s San Andrea Fault are at higher risk for the sudden rapid shaking of the earth—caused by breaking and shifting of subterranean rock as it releases strain accumulated over time. Earthquakes can occur any time of the year and without warning, usually lasting for less than a minute. Here’s what to do before, during and after an earthquake.

Before an Earthquake

  • Secure items that could fall, move or cause injuries or damage such as bookshelves, mirrors and light fixtures. Move beds away from windows and secure any hanging items over beds, couches, cribs or other places people sit, sleep or rest.
  • Practice how to drop, cover and hold on.
  • Store critical supplies like water, medication and documents.
  • Plan your communication strategy with family members, including multiple methods by making a family emergency communication plan.


During an Earthquake

  • If you’re inside a building, drop to the ground immediately.
  • Cover your head and neck with your arms to protect yourself from falling debris.
  • If getting safely to the floor isn’t possible, the Earthquake Country Alliance advises getting as low as possible to the floor. People who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices should lock their wheels, bend over, and remain seated until the shaking stops.
  • If you’re outside, when you feel the shaking: move away from buildings, streetlights and utility wires. Then, drop, cover and hold on. Stay there until the shaking stops.

After an Earthquake

  • If you’re trapped, don’t move about or kick up dust.
  • Make noise: Tap on a pipe or wall or use a whistle, if you have one, so rescuers can locate you.
  • Once safe, monitor local news reports via battery operated radio, TV, social media, and cell phone text alerts for emergency information and instructions.

On Alert

Nixle is a potentially life-saving alert system that keeps you up-to-date with relevant information from local public safety departments and schools. Want to receive alerts on your mobile device? Simply text your zip code to 888777 and receive alerts for severe weather, criminal activity, severe traffic and missing persons. Or visit their website at

Sonoma County Wildfire Update

The firestorm’s toll on Sonoma County tells a somber story. Here are the final stats from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO).

24 civilian deaths

11 homes burglarized (in SCSO jurisdiction)

23 people arrested for being in evacuation zones (SCSO jurisdiction)

73 cell towers burned (Sonoma County to the Oregon border)

300 peace officers on duty per shift for weeks, tapering off on the third week

2,269 missing persons reported (Good news: the vast majority were found.)




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