Dock Safety Tips from the Pros

This portion of the evacuation map shows the proximity of the dog park to the floating homes | image from City of Sausalito | post by Larry Clinton

The dock safety webinar recently presented by officials from the Southern Marin Fire Protection District offered many helpful insights into how to survive a fire in or around the floating homes community.

Emergency Services Chair Flo Hoylman opened the webinar by reporting that 97% of respondents to the recent FHA survey indicated that developing an individual emergency evacuation plan for each dock was a high priority. The webinar was an important step toward achieving that goal.

Tom Welch, Deputy Chief of Operations and Training for the District, noted that people have lots of anxiety about having to evacuate from a fire zone, but being prepared for an evacuation eases that anxiety. He pointed out the importance of neighbors helping neighbors, particularly those with mobility issues or other challenges. Each family should have its own evacuation plan and learn the plans of neighbors. He advised that residents of floating homes should be familiar with two routes of evacuation and should be prepared to choose between two modes of transportation (e.g., driving, walking, biking, or riding with friends and family). To help identify those routes, the district has released a new evacuation map that identifies evacuation zones and recommended paths of travel for each zone. The MLK dog park at Bridgeway and Coloma shown on the map has been designated as our nearest Community Refuge Area, a safe space to go to while awaiting further instructions. Please note that this is a temporary, short-term safe waiting spot, where no services will be offered.

Welch’s presentation listed several disaster alert networks, including:

Nixle: text 888777 and sign up for alerts in our zip code (94965), or sign up all your phones online.

Alert Marin: sends county-wide emergency warnings via call, text, email or smart phone app. Alert Marin is also known as Wireless Emergency Access or Everbridge.

Emergency Alerts are also broadcast via radio, TV and phone. Keep a portable radio with fresh batteries along with other emergency supplies.

Although drought conditions, combined with unusually high temperatures and high winds, have made recent fire seasons more dangerous than past seasons, Welch said that fire potential is now expected to be normal in November and December.

Next week: More Tips, including what to expect if you have to go to a Red Cross shelter.