Depending on the emergency and the conditions, public safety officials may utilize a variety of ways to alert you that it is time to evacuate. Below is information on evacuation communication tools that you need to be aware of during emergencies.
Reminder: Always use your best judgement in an emergency situation. If you feel unsafe, spot fires ignite, or conditions change, don't wait for an evacuation order; leave early if you are unsure to avoid being trapped by severe conditions..
Know Your Zone - Napa County Evacuation Zones
Napa County and its incorporated municipalities have partnered with Zonehaven to establish standardized evacuation zones for the entire county. In the past, evacuation zones were different for each incident, now zones will remain mostly the same. Learn your zone for home and work and be ready to go when an evacuation order or warning for your zone is issued. Look up your evacuation zone here.
Include your zone name in your evacuation plan and learn the zones near your residence and workplace as well to provide awareness if an evacuation situation does occur. Share your zone with out-of-town friends and family for their own situational awareness.
Please Note: Zones may change slightly from time to time. Please review your zone regularly.
Hi/Lo Sirens on Public Safety Vehicles - Hear the Hi/Lo, time to GO!
Depending on the emergency, the County’s ability to reach you through traditional alert and warning tools may be limited. Public safety vehicles in Napa County are outfitted with Hi/Lo sirens, a different sound than traditional sirens, that will only be used to alert residents to evacuate. This European-style, 2-tone siren will only be used in an emergency to alert residents within specific areas of the need to evacuate. If you hear the Hi/Lo, it’s time to go.
Napa County Sheriff’s Office provides residents with evacuation tags to place on their mailbox, fence, gate or door before evacuating. The evacuation tags save first responders considerable time and allow first responders to clear neighborhoods faster. Learn more about evacuation tags and where to get them on the Sheriff's web page. For any questions about evacuation tags, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nixle - Notification by SMS text, app alert, or email
In the event of an evacuation, local emergency officials will use Nixle to reach you. You must register for emergency notifications at www.nixle.com to receive evacuations notices by SMS text, app alert, or email. Evacuation notices sent through Nixle will use the following terminology:
- EVACUATION ORDER: You must evacuate immediately due to imminent threat to life.
- EVACUATION WARNING: There is potential threat to life and property within a given timeframe. Begin preparing yourself, your animals, and your property for a potential evacuation order. People who require more time to evacuate, should evacuate now.
- SHELTER-IN-PLACE: Stay secure at your current location. This may be required when evacuation is impossible, too dangerous, or unnecessary.
Additional Alerting Tools
Additional alerting tools such as WEA, EAS, NOAA Weather Radio broadcast alerts, and social media will also be used to notify you in the event of a large-scale emergency evacuation. Learn more about these different tools here.
Evacuation Center and Shelter Information
During emergencies and when conditions warrant, the County stands up an evacuation center to direct residents to available sheltering resources. The location of the evacuation center and shelters is particular to the specific incident and will be announced by the County of Napa through social media, Nixle, and press releases.
Preparing is a Year-Round Endeavor
A wide variety of emergencies may cause an evacuation. In some instances, you may have a day or two to prepare, while other situations might call for immediate evacuation. Planning ahead is vital to ensuring that you can evacuate quickly and safely, no matter what the circumstances.
Before an evacuation:
- Know Your Zone and evacuation route. Plan how you will leave and where you will go if you are advised to evacuate. Know and practice multiple routes out of your neighborhood.
- Prepare your Go Bag and Grab List items.
- Be sure you can open your garage if the power goes out
- Keep pets close and have carriers readily available. Talk to the Napa Community Animal Response Team about what options are available for your pets and livestock.
- Be aware of nearby road conditions and potential obstacles, such as locked gates and overgrown vegetation.
- Talk to your neighbors about evacuation concerns and work together to mitigate potential hazards.
- Identify several places you could go in an emergency such as a friend’s home in another town or a motel. Review the additional living expenses (ALE) coverage in your insurance policy.
- If you have a car, keep a full tank of gas.
- If you do not have a car, make arrangements with family, friends, or neighbors.
During an evacuation:
- Monitor Zonehaven, social media channels-- including local law enforcement agencies, Napa County and your city or town, Nixle, and traditional sources of media for evacuation information.
- Listen for hi-lo sirens.
- Take your go bag.
- Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
- Secure your home by closing and locking doors and windows.
- Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
- Wear sturdy shoes and clothing that provides some protection such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and a hat.
- Check with neighbors who may need a ride.
- Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts; they may be blocked.
- Use your evacuation tag to let first responders know you have safely evacuated.
- Be alert for road hazards such as downed trees, blocked roads or bridges and downed power lines.
After an evacuation:
- Once you are safe, let friends and family know you are out of harm’s way.
- Charge devices and consider getting back-up batteries in case power outages continue.
- Monitor Zonehaven, social media channels-- including local law enforcement agencies, Napa County and your city or town, Nixle, and traditional sources of media for instructions on when to return home.
- Residents returning to disaster-affected areas after significant events should expect and prepare for disruptions to daily activities and remember that returning home before debris is cleared is dangerous.
- Avoid downed power or utility lines; they may be live with deadly voltage.
- Stay away and report them immediately to your power or utility company.
- Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home's electrical system.