A Wildfire Evacuation Plan is a written plan for safely leaving your home or wildland cabin in the event of an approaching wildfire. It also applies to flooding or other emergencies that may call for evacuation. Examples of each item are shown in bold green; they do not refer to actual locations or people.
1. Designate a primary exit route, with alternatives you can use if the primary route is threatened or closed by fire.
Exit route: Road 23 West to Hwy 155, then south to Big Tree State Park. Alternate: Road 14 East to Hwy 16, then south to Waycross and Big Tree State Park.
2. Determine a specific location for family members to meet after an evacuation. That includes those who might be absent during an evacuation. It should be outside your community, miles away from the home or cabin, and known to all family members. We recommend having a secondary meeting site if roads are closed or the first location is unreachable. Consider including a map of the planned evacuation routes.
Meeting spot: Big Tree State Park.
3. Know the location of important documents and items that you would want to take with you during any evacuation. We recommend keeping them stored together in an easily accessible location.
Important documents & items: The important family documents in the fireproof lockbox in the front hall closet, and the family history and photo albums in the office bookcase.
4. Have a “Disaster Kit” prepared or listed just in case you can’t return to your home or cabin for several days. This should include such things as clothing, toiletries, and prescription medications you would usually take on any weekend trip, plus cell phones and chargers, and family finance provisions, as well as items related to any pets you would be evacuating with you.
Disaster Kit: One set of all-weather clothing, tooth brushes, razors, and prescription medications for each member family member, plus check book, debit & credit cards, $200 cash, and three days of food for Rocket the dog.
5. Have updated emergency contact information for members of the family, both in and outside the group being evacuated.
Contact Information: Uncle Joe @ 555-555-5555, Grandma Lucy @ 555-555-5575, Cousin Suzy email—email@example.com, etc.
6. Keep your potential escape vehicles serviced and fueled during fire season (a good idea any time for those of us living in rural or semi-rural areas).
7. Keep your evacuation plan handy, and share it with any folks staying with you during fire season.
8. Have a posted list of what needs to be done when a wildfire may require an evacuation. That will be the topic of an upcoming Bighorn Basin Firesmart blog.