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Published August 4th, 2021
Lamorinda communities participate in virtual evacuation drill
Photo Cynthia Brian

Lamorinda residents began receiving text messages and phone calls from the Contra Costa County Community Warning System the morning of July 31 during a virtual evacuation exercise conducted by the Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda police departments, the Moraga-Orinda Fire District, the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, and the East Bay Municipal Utility District. The drill allowed local residents and first responders an opportunity to practice evacuation procedures that would be utilized during an actual wildfire emergency.
Evacuating in one vehicle helps avoid congestion on arterials, according MOFD Fire Chief Dave Winnacker, who spoke at a June 14 Lamorinda CERT meeting about fire safety. Preparing for evacuations in advance is vital, he said, since any delays can mean you are likely to run into downstream traffic on the few arterials leading to safety. "We do not have surface street capacity for everyone to get on the roads at the same time."
Each municipality has an evacuation plan that includes specific geographical evacuation zones, according to an email sent by Lamorinda CERT Registrar Julie Sparks. "In an?actual emergency, evacuation messages will be issued for these zones when there is extreme danger to an area. When a real evacuation order is issued, residents should evacuate immediately."
Residents were advised to pack their "go bags" in one car and knock on neighbors' doors as part of the drill.
If you have signed up for the Community Warning System and did not receive an alert, you can you can go to www.cococws.us and click the `Sign In' link at the top right of the page. (Remember, your username is your email address and if you do not know your password, click the `Forgot Password' link to reset your password).You can review your existing account information by clicking on the "My Profile" button at the top of the page. You can also call CWS directly at (925) 655-0111 or email cws-staff@so.cccounty.us.
What to include in a 'go bag'

As noted in the May 26 Lamorinda Weekly article, "Packing an emergency `Go Bag'" by Cynthia Brian, go bag essentials include:
First Aid kit
Duplicate chargers for phones, tablets, and computers
Copies of important documents including passport, drivers license, vaccination card, credit cards, insurance
Work gloves
Warm gloves
Small towel
Bottled water
(1 gallon per person per day)
Thick blanket
Walking shoes
Warm jacket
Peanut butter
Protein bars
Personal hygiene kit with a toothbrush, soap, medications
Flashlight and headlamp with extra batteries
Eating utensils and plates
Breathing masks (Niosh-N95)
Clothing change
Reading glasses
Extra set of keys to home, office, etc.
Pet necessities: food, leash, medications
Toilet Paper

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