The County of Sonoma conducts emergency evacuation exercises annually, with a variety communities throughout the region. The drills helps raise disaster awareness and provide residents with an opportunity to practice evacuating from their homes to a safe location.
Each year, participating groups include emergency personnel from participating cities, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, CalFire and local fire departments. Participants also include Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies (COPE) members, as well as Fire Safe groups. Prior to the drill, community groups are engaged and actively participate in the planning process. A variety of tools including postcards, social media and neighbor-to-neighbor contacts are used to inform residents in the area of the exercise and encouraging their participation.
On the day of the drill, emergency personnel activate hi-lo emergency sirens to alert residents, and the Department of Emergency Management deploys the SoCoAlert Emergency Notification System. Sheriff officers drive the streets of the evacuation area and make announcements from their patrol car PA systems to advise residents of the drill.
At the designated evacuation site, a survey for the event and emergency preparedness information is offered. Members of the community are encouraged to participate in Neighborhood Programs, sign up for SoCoAlert and Nixle, and follow the County of Sonoma on Facebook and Twitter for the latest information.