7/19, 8:00 am: THE RED FLAG WARNING HAS BEEN CANCELLED
UPDATE 7/18, 11:00 am: The National Weather Service (NW S) in San Francisco has upgraded the Fire Weather Watch to a Red Flag Warning in the North Bay Mountains due to the increased chance of thunderstorms and potential for lighting. The Red Flag warning is in effect beginning at 5:00 PM Sunday, July 18th – 5:00 PM Monday, July 19th.
A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior. It is strongly advised to monitor/be aware of weather conditions, possible loss of electric power, and fire danger. During these times extreme caution is urged by all residents because a simple spark can cause a major wildfire. Learn more from CAL FIRE.
The National Weather Service (NWS) in San Francisco has issued a Fire Weather Watch for dry lightning for higher elevations in the North Bay Mountains, East Bay Hills and the Diablo Range and the Santa Cruz Mountains, which is in effect from 5:00 PM Sunday, July 18th through Monday, July 19th at 11:00 AM. A Fire Weather Watch means that critical fire weather conditions are forecast to occur.
NWS reports that there is a slight chance of isolated to scattered dry thunderstorms Sunday afternoon through Monday morning. Thunderstorm threat is most likely to occur late Sunday afternoon through Monday morning for our region and gusty and erratic winds will be possible with any storms that develop. Given the dry fuels over the higher elevations, any cloud to ground lightning strikes have the potential of starting new wildfires.
Be Prepared in Case of Emergency: Steps You Can Take
Be weather aware – get updates from National Weather Service as this weather systems develop.
Prepare your household in case of an emergency
Our Disaster Preparedness Page and Fire Safe Sonoma have an abundance of information to best prepare you and your family for an emergency. Being prepared means having your own food, water, and other supplies to last for several days. A disaster supplies kit, or “go-bag,” is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.
· For information on immediate threats to personal safety or property, tailored to an address of your choosing, sign up for SoCo Alerts www.SoCoAlert.com or call (707)565-1369 for more information.
· Sonoma County will send a Wireless Emergency Alert to areas if evacuations are ordered, intended to reach all cell phones in the area. Learn more: www.socoemergency.org
· Sign up for safety information on Nixle by texting your zip code to 888-777.
· You can view current National Weather Service Alerts for Sonoma County here.
Social media can play an important role in sharing information before, during, and after emergencies, and if you are active on social media it’s a good idea to follow Facebook pages for the City of Sonoma, Sonoma Police Department, Sonoma Valley Fire & Rescue, County of Sonoma, Sonoma Valley Hospital and Sonoma Sheriff. You can also follow the Sonoma Sheriff and County of Sonoma on twitter. The City of Sonoma may also share information through Nextdoor. Due to potential delays in posting information, please do not rely on social media as your primary notification of a local emergency.
Review your evacuation and communication plan
· Know your evacuation zone, look up your evacuation zone on the Sonoma County’s interactive evacuation zone map.
· Identify several evacuation routes for your location in case roads are blocked and tell someone out of the area which routes you plan to use.
· If you will evacuate by car, keep your car fueled and in good condition. If your car is in a garage, know how to manually open the garage door in case of a power outage.
· Make a list of what you’ll want to take with you if you leave your home quickly. Consider the Five P’s of Evacuation: 1) People/Pets; 2) Prescriptions; 3) Papers; 4) Personal Needs; 5) Priceless Items.
In the City of Sonoma and the rest of Sonoma County, public safety vehicles are outfitted with Hi/Lo sirens, which offer a different sound than traditional sirens, and will be used to alert residents to evacuate. This 2-tone siren will only be used in an emergency to alert residents within specific areas of the need to evacuate. If you hear the Hi/Lo, it’s time to go.
For more information and to view the City’s Emergency Operation Plan, please visit our Emergency Preparedness Page.