Be Prepared: Steps for Fire Season
Posted on 11/01/2022

Leading up to Piedmont's first-ever community wildfire evacuation drill on Saturday, November 5th, Piedmont Fire Chief Dave Brannigan is sharing simple steps everyone can and should take to be prepared for a wildfire.

Be Prepared: Steps for Fire Season

A message from Piedmont Fire Chief Dave Brannigan

A white, middle aged man in a Fire uniform smiles while standing next to an American flagAs your Fire Chief, I strive daily to ensure our City government is poised to protect this community in a disaster. But I also know that in an emergency, the best efforts of public agencies alone will not be enough. Our community needs to prepare too. I urge every Piedmonter to take these simple steps to be more ready for a wildfire.

Step 1: Know How to Get Information

The first and most important step everyone needs to take to be ready for a wildfire or other disaster is to know how to get information. In an emergency, minutes matter and information can change rapidly. Take a few minutes today to ensure that we can reach you in an emergency, and that you know how to find reliable information from safety officials.

  • AC Alert: If you aren’t yet registered for AC Alert emergency notifications, sign up now. Piedmont and Alameda County public safety officials will use AC Alert to send evacuation warnings and orders in a fire, earthquake, or other emergency. Visit or text your zip code to 888-777 now to register.
  • Zonehaven: Bookmark on your computer and phone. In a wildfire, emergency responders will use this site to post real-time, location-specific evacuation instructions and updates.

Step 2: Have a go-bag ready

The next thing everyone should do is pack or refresh a “go-bag.” In a wildfire, you could have only moments to leave. Everyone in your household should have a go-bag ready with the items they’d need if they had to evacuate, like a map, cash, and a paper list of phone numbers for essential contacts. Make sure your go-bag is light enough to carry in case you need to leave your vehicle and evacuate on foot – a real possibility in a disaster.

Step 3: Identify and practice evacuation routes

Finally, think about what routes you would use to evacuate in a fire. Identify two routes away from your home by car and two by foot. Mark them on the map you keep in your go-bag. For driving routes, focus on main roads that connect with major streets and highways. Bigger roads with more capacity are less likely to get blocked during an evacuation.

I encourage everyone to review and practice your evacuation routes with your household, carrying your go-bags with you. Regular practice ensures everyone will know what to do in an emergency, when you must act quickly.

Thank you for taking these important readiness steps. I hope to see you at our community preparedness event following the wildfire evacuation drill on Saturday, November 5th (10am at Community Hall, 711 Highland Avenue). The more we all prepare, the stronger and more resilient our community will be in a disaster.