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The original item was published from 7/31/2019 1:08:48 PM to 8/22/2019 12:00:01 AM.

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Sheriff's Office

Posted on: July 31, 2019

[ARCHIVED] During Wildfires/Natural Disasters, Be Prepared and Be Cautious of Random People Offering to Help


During Wildfires/Natural Disasters, Be Prepared and Be Cautious of Random People Offering to Help  

As we enter fire season, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and Greater Spokane Department of Emergency Management would like to remind everyone to be prepared and have a plan to ensure you know what to do in the event of a fire, natural disaster, or other emergency.

Please don’t wait until a fire or other major event occurs in your community, have a plan, and be prepared beforehand.  Greater Spokane Department of Emergency Management (DEM) is here to provide you with information regarding what you may need in an emergency, which can help you develop a plan.  With your family’s emergency kit ready and a plan in place, you and your family will know what to do, where to meet if you’re separated, and allowing you to focus on your safety instead of hastily trying to figure out what to do next.   

The Sheriff’s Office would also like to remind you there are always people who try to take advantage of others during these intense, dangerous and rapidly evolving incidents.  Neighbors helping one another is something our community has shown, time and time again, as a strength but remember there are people, unfortunately, who may look at emergencies as an opportunity to race in with an offer to assist with less than honorable and sometimes criminal intentions. 

People or organizations not directly dispatched or affiliated with the Sheriff’s Office, DEM, SCOPE or our local Fire Departments, will not be allowed into these areas without a first responder’s assistance or knowledge.  Be wary of people you don’t know who shows up offering to move your pets, animals, or livestock unannounced and not accompanied by a first responder.  During an emergency, be cautious, ask for official identification, check with your local first responders at the incident or call 911 immediately if a situation like this happens to ensure the people offering their help are legitimately part of the evacuation effort.

For people who would like to offer their help during fires or other major emergencies in our area, please contact the Greater Spokane Department of Emergency Management before an emergency takes place.  This enables them to ensure you have the proper training and equipment to keep yourself safe while you’re helping others.  This also ensures we are all working together as a unified response which allows us to provide the most effective and needed services during emergencies. 

If you are caught in an evacuated or closed area during an emergency and you don’t live there, have not been approved to be in the area or misrepresent your authority, you will be detained and likely arrested. 

Fires, natural disasters, and other significant emergency situations will, unfortunately, happen in our community, do you know what to do?  For more information on how you can be prepared visit the Greater Spokane Department of Emergency Management’s webpage: https://www.gsem.us

Forms and Information:
Evacuation Levels-Guidelines.pdf

Ready Set Go Folder.pdf

Emergency Evac Grab Go List.pdf

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