The Key to Evacuating Quickly and Safely is Preparation

Lake Tahoe, CA/NV…As record drought and elevated wildfire conditions persist, the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team (TFFT) reminds residents and visitors to develop an evacuation plan for your family and pack a Go-Bag before the next wildfire.  Emergency responders follow carefully designed evacuation plans that consider all factors when implementing evacuation orders. When asked to leave, it’s crucial to evacuate quickly and safely — preparing for evacuation ahead of time is the best way to ensure a safe, successful evacuation. One way to prepare is to pack a Go-Bag.

A photo of an evacuation Go-Bag. Photo by University of Nevada, Reno Extension.

About the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team

“When it comes to evacuation, planning ahead is always a good idea,” said Fire Marshal, Eric Guevin, from Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District. “Be prepared to act fast because time matters, and it could be a matter of life and death or loss of property.”

Choose a Go-Bag(s) that can be easily lifted into your vehicle and has room for necessary items to last a minimum of 72 hours up to two weeks. Rolling suitcases, backpacks and cloth shopping bags are good choices. Once packed, practice loading the Go-Bags into your vehicle and drive potential evacuation routes with family and pets to ensure you’re prepared and able to evacuate quickly.

Some items to pack into evacuation Go-Bags include:

  • Enough medication for a minimum of 72 hours up to two weeks
  • Lists of prescriptions and their dosages, prescription numbers, medication names, prescribing physicians, and pharmacy names and contact information
  • Bottled water for a minimum of 72 hours up to two weeks
  • Non-perishable foods that don’t require preparation or refrigeration such as nuts, trail bars, jerky, and cereal
  • NIOSH N95 or P100 masks for wildfire smoke
  • Important documents
  • Cell phone chargers
  • Supplies, water, food and medications for pets, including pet carrier(s)

For a more comprehensive list and helpful ways to prepare for the next wildfire evacuation, please visit and view the Wildfire Evacuation Checklist or the Wildfire Evacuation Checklist in Spanish, Instrucciones Para Evacuar En Caso De Incendios Forestales.