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Devastating wildfires put spotlight on evacuation awareness, emergency alerts

(Update: adding video)

Important to know the three levels -- and five P's

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- On Wednesday, NewsChannel 21 reported on the tragic death of a Bend man's mother and brother as they tried to flee the Beachie Creek fire in the Santiam Canyon.

The family says it wants to focus on preventing future losses of life in emergency situations.

The danger for all in these wildfires is all too real, so being prepared is paramount.

By now, many of you may know the three levels of emergency evacuation issued by agencies such as the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office: Get Ready, Get Set, and Go Now.

However, you may not know the five P's of what to bring with you when you do: people, pets, pills (medications), photos, and important papers.

The sheriff's office says they encourage residents to prepare at the first indication of danger. Waiting too long can mean the difference between life and death.

"Really, we promote be in a ready stage at all times, especially during fire season," sheriff's Lt. Bryan Husband said Thursday.

Although you may not always have this in the back of your mind, Husband says residents should in a sense always be at Level 1 and have a plan to evacuate or shelter in place, if necessary.

Husband says that deciding to evacuate between Levels 2 and 3 is a personal decision, but he highly recommends not taking any chances in remote areas.

This is a situation where waiting for the outcome could be tragic -- even deadly. 

To sign up for Deschutes County emergency alerts, click here.

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Alec Nolan

Alec Nolan is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Alec here.


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