Being evacuated can be a difficult situation. The uncertainty of not knowing the status of your home, belongings and neighborhood is stress-inducing. Maps such as this can show the status of structures but doesn’t prepare you for what to expect while you are waiting for the ok to return home.
The most important thing is to remain patient. Even if your residence is undamaged, officials need to ensure that infrastructure such as power, water, electricity and sewer are properly functioning. Emergency personnel, utility workers and inspectors will need to finish their assessment.
Fire officials will determine when it is safe for you to return to your home. This will be done as soon as possible considering safety and accessibility. When you return home:
▪ Be alert for downed power lines and other hazards.
▪ Check propane tanks, regulators, and lines before turning gas on.
▪ Check your residence carefully for hidden embers or smoldering fires.
▪ Check the contents of your refrigerator. The power may have gone out during your absence.
▪ Check your home’s air filters. If your home’s air conditioner was running while you were away, it has been recirculating the smokey air.
▪ Don’t forget to water your plants.
▪ If there are ashes or burned material on your property, consult with local authorities on proper disposal.
▪ If you have bird baths or feeders, check and change contents if necessary.