“Know your Zone”
The Fairview Fire Protection District is participating in the County-wide adoption of Zonehaven’s evacuation software. This program was designed to manage emergency evacuations but could be used for other events, such as a shelter-in-place order after a hazardous materials incident.
Each jurisdiction in Alameda County has been divided into geographic “zones” that will enable public safety personnel to quickly target locations/areas that need action by residents during an emergency. The use of these zones ensures that residents within a targeted zone receive important information promptly from ACAlert in an emergency. These Emergency communications will also be sent via other emergency notification systems like WEA (Wireless Emergency Alerts) or IPAWS (Integrated Public Alert & Warning System). You will receive these notifications in addition to what you may view on the Zonehaven site.
This information may include evacuation orders, evacuation routes, TEP’s (Temporary Evacuation Points), or other emergency instructions. Evacuation orders may utilize commonly used travel routes or alternate evacuation routes which are not commonly used. Evacuation orders may include directions to TEP’s which are places of refuge utilized if other escape routes are cut off. These are usually locations that offer a wide, flat space without a lot of combustible material nearby where people can wait as a vegetation fire moves through an area. School, church, and shopping center parking lots, as well as large open parks with mowed natural grass are good examples. The Five Canyons Park baseball fields provide another example of a TEP that you may be familiar with. Emergency responders will be assigned to a TEP to address any problems that may arise.
Evacuation routes or TEPs are not typically predesignated because each event may call for a different plan depending upon conditions. It is advisable that residents explore their zone and familiarize themselves with multiple routes and TEP’s, so they are familiar with their zone during an incident.
Please visit Zonehaven AWARE to determine which zone you live in. This will allow you to quickly recognize when your zone is included in an evacuation order. When you type in your own address, your zone will be highlighted and a pop-up screen will tell you if there are any orders or warnings for your zone, actions that should be taken, including direction of travel or escape route, and TEPs. If your zone has been identified for notification, it will have changed color for quick visual reference. As an example, go to Zonehaven and enter the address for the Fairview Fire Station at 25862 Five Canyons Parkway. The site has identified the address as within Zone FVW-011.
The meaning of “Know Your Zone” refers to understanding various routes out of your zone and TEP’s.
A great example of Knowing Your Zone comes from a group of residents in the Kelly Hill area of Fairview, who were concerned about a lack of alternate escape routes in their neighborhoods and reached out to discuss options. As a result of these discussions, the gate at Thurston CT and Lori Way has been updated to an ADA compliant, automated gate by decision of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. This gate will be opened by public safety personnel when needed.
The 8’ wide concrete path that goes through Lakeridge Park, connecting Lakeridge AVE with Pickford CT, will now be used for evacuations. This drivable path has been added to the list of potential escape routes that appear in the Zonehaven database, available to our first responders who would be coordinating an evacuation of that area. To make the path more vehicle friendly, HARD will be installing improved flush mount, removable bollards at the park this fall. The gate at the end of Northview DR connecting to Monika Lane may also be opened. Also, the paved roadway at Canyon DR that exits to Canyon Terrace DR in the Five Canyons development will be a possible evacuation route. The Hayward Fire Department can open all these when necessary.
These alternate evacuation routes are available for emergency egress if they are needed to evacuate residents. If they are used, emergency personnel will be present to unlock/open any barriers. Please do not assume they will be used unless you receive evacuation instructions directing you to one of them. We will continue to explore other alternate evacuation routes throughout the district and work with the Hayward Fire Department, as well as Ora Loma Sanitary District and Alameda County Public Works to ensure these evacuation routes have appropriate signage. You should familiarize yourself with the access points to these alternate routes.
We hope there’s never a need for an evacuation order; but hope alone is never a good safety plan. Knowing Your Zone ahead of time will give you an additional advantage should the need arise. Please visit our website, https://fairviewfiredistrict.org where you can sign up for AC Alert and view additional available information regarding your safety and preparedness. Also, please familiarize yourself with the Zonehaven website so that you can access important public safety information.
Doing these things will help us all to work together for a safer community. Please speak about these safety issues with your neighbors as well, especially those who may need more time or assistance during an evacuation.