Your help is needed with a critical Wildfire Evacuation Time Survey!

Posted on May 1, 2024 by Sonoma Sun

The Valley of the Moon Alliance (VOTMA) has commissioned KLD Associates, an internationally recognized engineering firm with extensive experience in evacuation analysis, to conduct the Sonoma Area Fire Evacuation Study of a large part of Sonoma Valley.

An important component of the SAFE Study is an anonymous survey (one per household, also available in Spanish) that will help KLD understand your needs and responses during a wildfire evacuation. If you live in the study area bordered to the north by Oakmont, south by Petaluma Ave, and the hills on either side of Highway 12, your help is needed. Please go to and take 5 minutes to complete the survey.

Survey data will be added to information about road conditions, census population, schools, and other facilities where evacuation assistance might be needed. The study area does not currently include the City of Sonoma, but Sonoma’s effect on evacuation in the study area will be incorporated.

The SAFE Study is not an evacuation plan; it’s a study of how much time residents will need to evacuate various neighborhoods in the Valley. In addition, it will model for new development projects (the former Sonoma Developmental Center, the Hanna Center, and others) and their cumulative impact on evacuation times. Residents and officials need reliable information about the potential effects of these developments, especially when emergency evacuations are concerned. The results of the study can subsequently be used to develop up-to-date evacuation plans.

The SAFE Study is well under way and is scheduled to be completed by late September, 2024. Your survey data is needed right now. Please lend a hand by taking the anonymous survey at

The SAFE Study is an expensive undertaking being paid for by the Valley of the Moon Alliance, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit run by volunteers who believe public safety should be a community concern. VOTMA needs to raise another $60,000 in order to complete the study. Please go to for more information and to donate to this worthy cause.

The Board of Directors of the Glen Ellen Forum fully supports the SAFE Study and has contributed $5,000 to its efforts.

One thought on “Your help is needed with a critical Wildfire Evacuation Time Survey!

  1. Keep in mind that many studies of this nature are underway now and that the SVCAC has been clear to be on the lookout for built-in biases and to try and zero in on studies by agents with no skin in the game. Furthermore as per CA HCD, “Addressing disaster risk is not a justification for furthering segregation, and policies that seek to address this risk should include strategies that mitigate the risk of displacement and exclusion.” What this leads to is that if the peripheries of the Sonoma Valley urban service area positioning by lawsuits and studies to be off limits to any density (= potential integration and inclusion) and the Springs is already overloaded with lower-income dense housing, then Sonoma has to bear the brunt of Valley dense infill, which all begs the question of why not have a valley-level government with central planning instead of Balkanized tribes some with way more resources than others trying to partition a unified area? If we have collective issues, let everyone have a seat at the table, studies and all.

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