Evacuation Status Levels

Smoke from the King Fire in the Tahoe Basin. | Mike Volmer, TRCD

Courtesy California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services

Signing up for emergency alerts will provide valuable time and information before a disaster occurs, helping to make sure you and your family remain safe during an emergency. Find a list of how to sign up for local alerts in the front of this guide.

Emergency alerts provide immediate notification on cell phones and other mobile devices when emergencies happen in areas that may be, or currently are, under evacuation warnings or orders.

Tune into local radio stations for updated emergency alerts as they may be no cell service. Find a list of stations in the front of this guide. | news.caloes.ca.gov

Evacuation terminology

Advisory | A notice to be on alert and follow recommendations.

Evacuation Warning | Potential threat to life and/or property. Those who require additional time to evacuate such as the elderly and disabled, and those with pets and livestock should leave now.Find details on preparing your Go Bags in this guide.

Evacuation Order | Immediate threat to life. This is a lawful order to leave now. The area is lawfully closed to public access.

Shelter in Place | Go indoors. Shut and lock doors and windows. Prepare to self-sustain until further notice and/or contacted by emergency personnel for additional direction. Read how to prepare your Disaster Survival Kit in the Tahoe Wildfire Preparedness Guide.

Evacuation Order(s) Lifted | The formal announcement of lifting evacuations in an area currently under evacuation.

Hard Closure | Closed to all traffic except fire and law enforcement.

Soft Closure | Closed to all traffic except fire, law enforcement and critical incident resources such as utility companies and road crews.

Resident Only Closure | Soft closure with the additional allowance of residents and local government agencies assisting with response and recovery. ID may be required to reenter.

Clear To Repopulate | It is safe to return to your home. Be aware of your surroundings and go through the returning home checklist.

Normal | There is no current knowledge of threats affecting your area and that you can carry on with normal activity.

Call 9-1-1

  • If you are stuck in an Evacuation ORDER zone without transportation and there is an immediate threat to your life.

Call 2-1-1

  • If you are in an Evacuation WARNING zone and you need transportation.

Tips for surviving a wildfire if trapped

Courtesy Cal Fire

Be sure to follow local fire warnings and evacuation notices in the event of a wildfire. If you do become trapped in your home or car, or in the open, follow these tips to survive until help arrives.

In a vehicle

Stay calm.
Park your vehicle in an area clear of vegetation.
Close all vehicle windows & vents.
Cover yourself with wool blanket or jacket.
Lie on vehicle floor.
Call 9-1-1


On foot

Stay calm.
Go to an area clear of vegetation, a ditch or depression on level ground if possible.
Lie face down, cover up your body.
Call 9-1-1


At home

Stay calm, keep your family together.
Call 9-1-1.
Inform authorities of your location.
Fill sinks & tubs with cold water.
Keep doors and windows closed but unlocked.
Stay inside your house.
Stay away from outside walls & windows.

 Read Tahoe Guide’s 4th Annual Wildfire Preparedness Guide