Evacuation or shelter in place, July 10, 2019

Cars and trucks line North Shore Drive in Big Bear City during the mandatory evacuation because of the Old Fire in 2003.

When it comes to a disaster there are two schools of thought — evacuate or shelter in place. Which should it be?

Evacuations, when called, are important to adhere to, according to Tiffany Swantek, public information officer with the Big Bear Sheriff’s Station.

“Locally up here our first responders have plans in place,” Swantek said. The Telephone Emergency Notification System, otherwise known as TENS or reverse 9-1-1, goes into effect. The county updates the database every six months. It is a landline-based telephone system, Swantek said.

For those who don’t have a landline telephone, there are other ways to receive notifications about a mandatory evacuation, Swantek said. “Social media, radio, the Grizzly, we use everything possible to get the word out so people know what they should be doing,” Swantek said.

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