Corvallis Schedules Community Evacuation Exercise, May 14

On Saturday, May 14, emergency management authorities in Corvallis and Benton County will hold an evacuation drill for ten neighborhoods. Neighborhoods and households that will take part in the event have already been chosen and have received training from emergency planners.  

On the morning of Saturday, May 14, three messages – preceded by the words test/exercise – will be delivered via the Linn-Benton Alert mass warning system, using wording that corresponds to the three evacuation levels. 

    8:00 a.m. – Be Ready! Prepare to evacuate; have your plan and go kit ready. 

    8:30 a.m. – Be Set! Be set to evacuate at a moment’s notice. 

    9:00 a.m. – Go! Leave immediately without delay. 

The Corvallis Fire Department, in collaboration with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office and the Corvallis Police Department, will lead the drill. There will also be trained volunteers from the Corvallis Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). 

Why Benton County is Doing This 

The exercise’s main purpose is to execute a fake evacuation for chosen communities using predetermined routes so that public safety organizations may assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the routes. Participants will use the chosen routes to escape and then report back to emergency planners on their experience. 

The city has provided online training videos on evacuating, preparing for wildfires, and individual and family preparation, to assist county residents in staying safe should an emergency occur. 

This will be the Corvallis CERT team’s first large-scale local deployment, and is coordinated by the Corvallis Fire Department.  

How to Stay Prepared 

The Linn-Benton Alert system is aimed at informing local residents when a crisis hits our area, and works hand-in-hand with Corvallis Alert, which is geared toward citywide emergencies. Both are recommended for community members in Corvallis and Benton County, as first responders will use both platforms to convey critical information in the case of an emergency. 

If you or someone you know is interested in training for the CERT team, free CERT training classes are available, but they are filling up. 

If you have signed up for Linn-Benton Alert, you should expect to get these drill notifications if you live in Benton County. To minimize misunderstanding, the messages will be explicitly labeled as test/exercise communications, so please read the alerts carefully. If you receive a test message on the morning of May 14, please do not contact 9-1-1. 


By Paul Martin