Healdsburg, CA – May 28, 2021 – On Saturday, June 5, residents of the Fitch Mountain community east of Healdsburg are invited to participate in a County of Sonoma evacuation exercise. The exercise is part of a community-wide effort to prepare for wildfires and other potential disasters.
This exercise will provide public safety departments an opportunity to practice alerting an area using the Hi-Lo sirens and to further test the County's alerting system. Residents will have the opportunity to review the process of evacuating their homes and leaving their neighborhoods.
The exercise will take place from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. for permanent and seasonal residents of the Fitch Mountain community. Neighbors, community groups, local law enforcement and fire agencies, the City of Healdsburg and the County Department of Emergency Management and Sheriff's Office are collaborating to make the event possible.
Residents wishing to participate in the exercise must sign up to receive the SoCoAlert when the drill begins. More information about the exercise can be found here.
"This is all about being prepared because we know what can happen. Fire season is here, and we all must know what to do and where to go if we are told to evacuate our homes," said Supervisor James Gore, who represents the Fourth District on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. "Exercises like this one for Fitch Mountain allow residents to work with emergency managers to stage a drill that will result in faster and safer evacuations when that is critical to keeping our families and neighbors safe."
The Sonoma County Department of Emergency Management is identifying high-priority areas within the county and will work with those communities to coordinate evacuation exercises. The high-priority areas face a higher threat due to a number of variables such as thick vegetation and limited access.
"We have learned how to be better prepared in the aftermath of the devastating wildfires of 2017 and the fires of the past two years. The County is ready to use every tool in our toolbox to deliver an emergency alert," said Chris Godley, Director of Emergency Management for Sonoma County. "But preparedness only works if everyone participates. Residents can do their part by signing up for SoCoAlert, communicating with their neighbors and practicing their evacuation routes."
Here's what will happen on June 5:
- That morning, registered participants will receive a SoCo Alert notification on their phones prompting them to evacuate to the designated assembly point, the Healdsburg Community Center.
- A Hi-Lo siren also will be activated by a public safety officer to alert participants of the start of the exercise.
- Participants will evacuate using the following designated evacuation routes:
- From N. Fitch Mountain Road: Continue onto Powell Avenue, turn right (north) on Healdsburg Avenue toward the assembly point.
- From S. Fitch Mountain Road: Continue onto Matheson Street, turn right (north) on Healdsburg Avenue toward the assembly point.
If you are a resident and would like to participate in the drill:
- Fill out the registration form online
- Registration is required in order to receive the alert for the exercise and fully participate (the contact information you provide will be for this community exercise only).
- Registration will end at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 3 (two days prior to the event).
An evacuation exercise is also planned for the Camp Meeker/Occidental area on June 19.
For more information visit: www.socoemergency.org