A map of evacuation zones in Vacaville, CA.

What Does “Know Your Zone” Mean?

You may have seen local police and fire agencies encouraging everyone to “Know Your Zone.” Here’s what that means and why it matters in case of disasters.

When disasters such as wildfires, floods, and earthquakes occur in California, evacuations are carried out based on a system of zones. Public safety officials have divided most counties (including Solano County) into small evacuation zones. Each zone encompasses only a few neighborhoods, allowing for very specific evacuations to be made.

Zones are formatted with a three-letter prefix indicating the city or county jurisdiction, followed by a four-digit suffix.

For example, the zone surrounding Vacaville High School is “VAC-2142.” Someone living in unincorporated Solano County may see their zone is “SOL-2974.” Zones tend to be smaller in more densely populated areas.

Evacuation zones in Vacaville and Solano County displayed on a map.
An example of evacuation zones in and around Vacaville, CA – courtesy of genasys.com.

When disaster strikes, evacuations may be announced by zone numbers. It’s a good idea to know which zone you live and work in ahead of time. You may not have access to the internet during a disaster.

Find Your Zone

Fortunately, it’s easy to look up a zone by address at this website. During an emergency, this site will also show which zones are impacted or under evacuation orders.

Before this year’s wildfire season, make sure you take a look at which zones are important to you and your loved ones. Write them down, keep them handy, and stay safe!