Emergency Evacuation Levels

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 Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. It can force you to evacuate your home or confine you to your home or car. What would you do if basic services--water, gas, electricity, or telephones--were cut off? Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone right away. Families can and do cope with disaster by preparing in advance and working together as a team. Knowing what to do is your best protection and your responsibility.

When evacuations are made in Bend, its actually the Deschutes County Sheriffs Office (DCSO) that makes the determination to evacuate and then implements the plan. DCSO issues levels of evacuation during emergencies so residents know what to expect during the evacuation. Here are those levels:

LEVEL 1: A Level 1 Evacuation means "BE READY" for potential evacuation. GET YOUR EVACUATION SUPPLIES TOGETHER.

Residents should be aware of the danger that exists in their area, monitor emergency services websites and local media outlets for information. This is the time for preparation and precautionary movement of persons with special needs, mobile property and (under certain circumstances) pets and livestock. If conditions worsen, emergency services personnel may contact you via an emergency notification system.

LEVEL 2: A Level 2 Evacuation means "BE SET" to Evacuate. YOU MUST PREPARE TO LEAVE AT A MOMENTS NOTICE.

This level indicates there is significant danger to your area, and residents should either voluntarily relocate to a shelter or with family/friends outside of the affected area, or if choosing to remain, to be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice. Residents MAY have time to gather necessary items, but doing so is at their own risk.
THIS MAY BE THE ONLY NOTICE THAT YOU RECEIVE. Emergency services cannot guarantee that they will be able to notify you if conditions rapidly deteriorate. Area media services will be asked to broadcast periodic updates.

LEVEL 3: A Level 3 Evacuation means "GO" Evacuate NOW, LEAVE IMMEDIATELY!

Danger to your area is current or imminent, and you should evacuate immediately. If you choose to ignore this advisement, you must understand that emergency services may not be available to assist you further. DO NOT delay leaving to gather any belongings or make efforts to protect your home. THIS WILL BE THE LAST NOTICE THAT YOU RECEIVE. Entry to evacuated areas may be denied until conditions are safe. Area radio and TV stations have been asked to broadcast periodic updates.


Preparedness for evacuations is very important. Getting all your supplies together when you get a Level 3 evacuation notice is too late. Some pre-planning can go a long ways to allowing for a safe and less stressful evacuation. Go to the DCSO Emergency Preparedness website for a lot of great information on being prepared for an emergency and evacuation.