Evacuation Plans

It is crucial that all Delta residents are aware of and prepared for the possibility of a flood event in their area. The Delta encompasses five counties (Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, and Yolo), and each county’s emergency services and evacuation procedures operate in different ways. Delta residents and workers should contact their county’s Office of Emergency Services to understand the processes for evacuation in their area.

Though evacuations can be authorized by different officials at the city, county, state, and federal levels, emergency services are often shared across different agencies and jurisdictions.

During evacuations, California Highway Patrol and other mobilized units will be dispatched to assist with road closures, detours, and other support. However, they may not always be nearby, especially in more rural areas.

Delta residents should learn early on which evacuation route is available and evacuate as soon as possible to minimize traffic on roads. Don’t let your gas tank get low during flood season – filling stations may not be able to dispense gasoline for several days if there is flooding in the area.

Never drive through flooded roads – more people are trapped and die in their vehicles than anywhere else during floods.

Understanding what to do in a flood emergency can save lives. Make a family plan with multiple evacuation routes. Choose a family meeting place and have a plan for how to communicate during an emergency. The plan should also contain how to leave your home during a flood warning and include your evacuation routes. 

If you are a business owner, you should also consider developing an evacuation plan for your staff and anyone else who may be on-site during a flood emergency.

Visit these web pages to help create your evacuation plan:

California Standard Statewide Evacuation and Road Closure Terminology

Types of Evacuation Orders

  • Evacuation Order – There is an immediate threat to life. It is a lawful order to leave now and the area is lawfully closed to public access. It is important to note that not all evacuation orders begin with an evacuation warning.
  • Evacuation Warning There is a potential threat to life and/or property. Those who require additional time to evacuate and those with pets and/or livestock are encouraged to leave now.
  • Shelter in Place – Go indoors. Shut and lock your doors and windows and be prepared to self-sustain until further notice and/or you are contacted by emergency personnel for additional direction.
  • Evacuation Order(s) Lifted – This is the formal announcement lifting evacuations in an area currently under evacuation.

Types of Road Closures

  • Hard Closure – Closed to all traffic except Fire and Law Enforcement.
  • Soft Closure – Closed to all traffic except Fire, Law Enforcement, and critical incident resources (i.e. utility, Caltrans, City/County Roads, or those needed to repair or restore infrastructure).
  • Resident Only Closure – Soft closure with the additional allowance of residents and local government agencies assisting with response and recovery.

Visit the Understanding Flood Alerts webpage for more information.