This week’s excessive heat means that the California wildfire season is here, and the thought of a wildfire on Lab property is alarming for everyone. This email is the beginning of a larger Lab-wide communication effort to address this serious issue for Lab employees both on and offsite. Operations has been focusing on the Lab property and its buildings in the past few months to lessen the impact of a wildfire. Below is a synopsis of these changes:
Designated 19 of the buildings at the Lab as Safe Area for Emergencies, or SAFE buildings. These buildings are built of steel or concrete, are equipped with interior sprinkler systems, have defensible spaces around them, and ventilation systems that can be turned off to reduce the intake of smoke. The building entrances are marked with bright blue signs. Download and print a map showing SAFE buildings.
There is a strong possibility we will not be able to evacuate everyone at the Lab in case of a fast-moving wildfire. The safest choice may be to relocate to one of the SAFE buildings. Look for more information about the SAFE building program in Elements later this month.
Prepared the Lab property through vegetation management. We continue to remove high-risk and diseased trees, while actively pruning trees to remove limbs under eight feet to slow the spread of fire. We’ve brought the goats back to clear the undergrowth and tall grass areas.
Partnered with neighboring agencies through the Hills Emergency Forum, City of Berkeley, and the University of California to collectively manage the wildland fire threat and reduce the associated risk.
There are a few things we need you to do to prepare for the possibility of a wildfire at the Lab:
Familiarize yourself with the SAFE building locations.
Prepare a personal ‘Go Bag’ that would be useful in an emergency.
Sign up for LabAlert so you can receive text emergency notifications.
Fire season in California has begun earlier and lasted longer in recent years, and the best defense against any emergency or disaster is preparedness. Together, we can continue to prepare for wildfires, wildfire smoke, and other potential disasters at the Lab.