Emergency Preparedness Evacuation Workshop

By: Denise Wong Email
By: Denise Wong Email

RENO, NV - Experts say it's not a matter of if, but when the next disaster strikes. That's why emergency officials held a workshop in Reno Tuesday evening - to help people prepare just in case they have to evacuate.

Joan Reed knows her family was fortunate this year. When the Washoe Drive Fire crept toward her ArrowCreek home, it was a nerve-racking experience.

"It stopped right by the high school where we are, so it was really lucky," she says.

Reed was actually in Florida visiting friends at the time, but she saw images of the fire on the Internet.

"I checked with a neighbor and found out that our house was okay, but a lot of houses weren't," says Reed. "It was scary."

That's why she and dozens of others showed up at Galena High School Tuesday night. They wanted to make sure they can prepare for the worst.

"We all know it is coming, it's just a matter of when," says Tanya Milelli, Emergency Services Director of the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross, Reno Fire, and Washoe County Emergency Management were just some of the organizations on hand to answer questions and hand out emergency preparedness starter kits.

Most people know to pack water, first aid, and a flashlight. But...

"People do actually forget their important documents. They have them in a file in their house, but they're not ready, they're not easy to go and they don't have backup copies of those documents," says Milelli.

If you missed out on this workshop, you can still contact any of the organizations that were at Galena High and they can get you the information they provided at the workshop.

Local Services Represented:
American Red Cross
City of Reno Fire Department
North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District
Sierra Fire Protection District
Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District
Washoe County Office of Emergency Management
Washoe County Regional Animal Services
Washoe County School District
Washoe County Sheriff's Office
UNR Cooperative Extension - Living With Fire Program


-Important documents (bank, IRS, trust, investment, insurance policies, birth certificates, medical records)
-Credit/ATM Cards
-Prescription Glasses
-Driver's License / Passport
-Computer back up files
-Flashlight, portable radio with batteries
-Inventory of home contents
-Photograph of the exterior of the house and landscape
-Address book
-Cell phone and charger
-Personal toiletries
-Enough clothing for 3-5 days
-Family heirlooms

-If possible, evacuate all family members not essential to preparing the house for wildfire.
-Plan several evacuation routes from your home.
-Designate a safe meeting place and contact person.
-Relay your plans to the contact person.
-Evacuate pets and livestock whenever possible. Never turn animals loose.
-Contact Animal Rescue Team at 775-322-DOGS if you need assistance.

-Place vehicles outside the garage pointing out.
-Keep vehicle fuel tank full during fire season
-Toll up the windows
-Close the garage door, but leave unlocked
-Place essential items in the car

-Close all interior doors
-Leave a light on in each room
-Remove lightweight, non-fire resistant curtains and other combustible materials from around windows
-Close fire-resistant drapes, shutters, and blinds
-Turn off all pilot lights
-Move overstuffed furniture to the center of the room
-Close fireplace damper
-When you evacuate, post your EVACUATED sign in your window

-Place combustible patio furniture in the house or garage.
-Shut off propane at the tank or natural gas at the meter
-Close all exterior vents, doors, and windows
-Prop a ladder against the house to provide firefighters with easy access to the roof
-Make sure that all garden hoses are connected to faucets and attach nozzles set on "spray"
-Leave exterior doors unlocked and turn on outside lights
-Cover windows, attic openings, and vents with plywood that is at least one-half inch thick
-Wet down wood shake or shingle roofs before leaving
-Unlock side gates
-Fill trash cans and buckets with water and place where firefighters can find them

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