A collaboration between Oakmont, Wild Oak homeowner associations and several agencies has resulted in a memorandum that details the processes for evacuation routes, including the use of Channel Drive and one-way traffic on Highway 12.
OVA President Steve Spanier announced the memorandum issued from the City of Santa Rosa in a message to members Friday.
“Residents will now, under certain circumstances dictated by law enforcement agencies, be able to leave Wild Oak and Oakmont in an orderly manner, potentially through multiple designated routes. This should provide residents some comfort that our safety and well-being continue to be top concerns of local officials,” Spanier said in the Memorandum. (The entire message is available here).
Asst. Fire Marshal Paul Lowenthal said the document memorializes existing evacuation processes and how they will be used in the event of an emergency.
“This clarifies for the community that egress routes, including Channel Drive, can be used, and that officials can designate Highway 12 one-way in both directions out of Oakmont if it is deemed necessary.” Channel Drive is an Emergency Vehicle Access route (EVA) with primary function for official emergency vehicles.
Lowenthal said officials can now target emergency alerts to specific portions of the population and use staged evacuations, including within Oakmont and Wild Oak, lessening the chances of traffic bottlenecks. “The memorandum helps people understand the process and assures residents of their safety,” he said. Channel Drive would be an evacuation route under “unique circumstances,” according to the memorandum and under the direction of public safety officials.
Lowenthal also said new evacuation points are in place as a result of the pandemic. “Knowing the potential for the pandemic to still be with us, we started working on plans early. We are fine tuning now with the Red Cross,” he said. “Temporary points will be large open parking lots and residents will remain in their cars. There will be sanitation stations and portable restrooms.”
He also urged residents to make changes to their go-bags and include items specific to the pandemic, such as sanitizers and extra face masks. Also, sign up for SoCo Alert, make a checklist and study Know Your Ways Out at https://srcity.org/3254/Evacuation-Routes.
Spanier said the collaboration between Oakmont, Wild Oak, city leaders and fire officials is an “important part of the story and something that doesn’t happen often enough, where all the organizations work together to make progress.
“We are extremely grateful to all the people who contributed,” he said.