All Orinda Virtual Evacuation Exercise
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Submitted by the Event Organizer
This is the first community-wide virtual evacuation exercise, using a simulated wildfire scenario. The event, which involves all Orinda, is a collaboration of the Moraga Orinda Fire Department (MOFD), the Orinda Police Dept., and the Community Warning System (CWS). The virtual exercise is designed to refine the communication system that will be used in the event of an evacuation order and to improve information sharing and coordination between relevant organizations. The wildfire simulation will mimic fire spread for the purpose of coordinating a time-phased evacuation, in which residents closest to the threat will be notified first. This scenario will also be used to refine Fire-Police-CWS coordination and information-sharing to create a common operating picture, and to test CWS notifications on a mass scale locally.
The success of the exercise—and future real-time evacuations—depends on residents registering for the Community Warning System, the primary method that will be used to issue evacuation orders using phone and text notifications to residents’ cellphones. Currently, less than 40% of Orinda residents are registered; please visit https://cwsalerts.com/registration/ to sign up before the evacuation drill.
Although the exercise will consist of notifications only and will not involve residents actually evacuating, it provides an important opportunity to review the steps residents would take during a real evacuation, providing a chance to identify and address the unique-to-your-situation issues that might delay your evacuation–including thinking about pets, small children, elderly and disabled family members.
The Lamorinda Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) has evacuation information and tools available at: https://www.lamorindacert.org/resource/evacuate/ For those with CERT radios, the Lamorinda Area Radio Interest Group (LARIG) will use this exercise as an opportunity to establish Net Control and test radio procedures.
Neighborhoods with block captain systems are encouraged to run a neighborhood notification exercise in conjunction with the simulated evacuation orders. For neighborhoods interested in forming a block captain system, LAMORINDA CERT is an excellent resource: https://www.lamorindacert.org/
Disclaimer: Please double check event information with the event organizer as events can be canceled, details can change after they are added to our calendar, and errors do occur.
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