The threat of wildfire has increased across the nation, including in Western Washington. One important step in facing that threat is preparing to communicate quickly with residents and businesses if evacuation from a wildfire or another hazard is necessary. As wildfire season begins here in Washington, Kitsap County is joining forces with six other counties to highlight the regional “Ready, Set, Go!” evacuation campaign. The campaign outlines the three evacuation levels and provides straightforward messages that describe actions to take at each level when alerted by authorities.

The “Ready, Set, Go!” evacuation campaign informs the public on how to respond to the three levels of evacuations (traditionally Levels 1, 2, and 3), and prepares them on actions they should take at each level when alerted by authorities. This messaging is intended not only for wildfires, but for any hazard which triggers the need for evacuation.

Kitsap County Evacuation Levels - Ready, Set, Go!


Key Components of the Campaign

  1. “Ready” Phase: Be aware of the danger in your area and start preparing for possible evacuation. Monitor local media and check on neighbors. If you do not already have an evacuation plan or a Go! kit, assemble these now. Conditions can change suddenly, and you may not receive a Level 2 “Be Set” warning before you are ordered to Level 3 “Go!” Prepare both the inside and outside of your home for fire. Leave if you feel unsafe — do not wait for an official evacuation order.
  2. “Set” Phase: Short notice evacuation likely in your area (Level 2) – Be prepared for sudden evacuation. People who need help or more time to evacuate – people with disabilities, people with small children, people with medical conditions and people with large animals – should evacuate now. Ensure your evacuation plan checklist is complete and your Go! kit is in your vehicle. Stay informed and be aware of alerts from local law enforcement and fire departments. Always remember to leave if you feel unsafe, do not wait for an official evacuation order.
  3. “Go” Phase: Evacuate immediately from your area (Level 3) – Go now! Danger in your area is current or imminent. Follow directions from law enforcement or fire departments and do not return home until officials have determined it is safe. Notification it is safe to return home will be given as soon as possible.

The “Ready, Set, Go!” evacuation campaign is a testament to the power of collaboration. By bringing together the expertise of multiple counties, emergency response agencies, and community organizations, the campaign can create a more resilient and informed population.

Residents of King, Pierce, Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, Kitsap and Thurston counties are encouraged to participate actively in the “Ready, Set, Go!” evacuation campaign. By preparing their homes, accessing informational materials, and staying informed about local emergency updates, individuals can play a vital role in enhancing the safety and preparedness of their communities.

Kitsap County residents can sign up for local emergency alerts, including “Ready, Set, Go!” notifications, at Additionally, check to make sure your smart phone is turned on to receive emergency notifications. The full news release can be viewed at


“Evacuating may be necessary for your safety. Local law enforcement, first responders, and emergency management work to give residents and visitors as much notice as possible. Knowing the evacuation levels and their meanings is crucial. You can start getting Ready by signing up to receive Emergency Notification Alerts.”

Kyle Bustad, Thurston County Emergency Manager

“Last year, Pierce County experienced several wildfires and unfortunately, one resulted in the deaths of two people. With wildfires becoming more common near urban areas in Western Washington, the ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ approach to evacuation is critical for all of us to learn, understand and follow when instructed to do so. Knowing how to respond to the ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ messages will also save lives when threatened by numerous other hazards, including floods, lahars and the potential eruption of Mount Rainier.”

Jody Ferguson, director, Pierce County Department of Emergency Management

“The consistent messaging of the ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ evacuation campaign throughout the Puget Sound region will make things more clear to all of our communities when dangerous conditions exist. We are working at the county level and with our partners to mitigate and respond to wildfires, and we want to encourage people to prepare ahead of time to keep themselves, their families, and their friends safe and out of harm’s way.”

Brendan McCluskey, director, King County Emergency Management

“I get it. I love spending time with my family amid the trees. But I will never forget how emotionally wrenching it was to evacuate from my childhood home to escape a wildfire. Taking time now to understand ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ emergency messaging is something every resident can do to reduce uncertainty when minutes matter, and to live a little safer in this beautiful place.”

Lucia Schmit, director, Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management

“Emergencies can arise unexpectedly anywhere and at any time. Being poised to respond when the situation demands is an absolute necessity. Knowing that residents will be able to understand and respond to evacuation alerts is a critical step in our readiness to respond. Kitsap County is excited to be part of the regional ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ evacuation campaign.”

Jan Glarum, director, Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management

“I cannot stress enough the importance of the ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ wildfire evacuation campaign. Our community’s safety is our top priority, and this program empowers residents with the knowledge and steps necessary to protect themselves and their loved ones in the face of a wildfire. Being prepared (‘Ready’), staying aware (‘Set’), and acting early (‘Go!’) can mean the difference between life and death. We’ve seen time and again that early action and preparedness save properties and, more importantly, lives. Let’s work together to ensure that when danger approaches, we’re all ready to act swiftly and safely.”

Julie de Losada, Chief, Skagit County Department of Emergency Management

“When I worked in emergency management and wildfire response in Eastern Washington, I saw how a successful ‘Ready-Set-Go’ program could help to save lives and protect the community with timely, easy-to-understand instructions. Here in Whatcom County, this messaging can be used for any regional hazards that may require evacuation – from flooding and tsunamis to earthquakes and volcanoes.”

Matt Klein, deputy director, Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management

Media Contact:

Dave Rasmussen, Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management,