"Just start putting a few things in there," she said. "Even if you do a couple things a day, you are that much more prepared to evacuate during a fire or any other emergency."
TAKE ACTION: Tips for how to help and stay safe during and after a wildfire
Those essentials can include a change of clothes like new pants, shirts and socks. Crosse also says to keep copies of identification cards, insurance documents and vaccination records -- especially now the card for a COVID-19 vaccination. Those copies can also be kept on a phone or tablet, but she says to make sure those devices are charged.
"If you are going to keep it on an electronic device, please make sure you have back up batteries or chargers," she said. "If those devices die then you will have nothing."
VIDEO: Safety tips to remember when returning home after wildfire
If you have extra time, you can pack other items like food and water. Crosse says you can also pack a deck or cards or other games. However, if an evacuation to the level of the Cache Fire breaks out, having a bag of just the basic essential items can go a long way.
"Don't wait, don't hesitate," she said. "You don't need to go out and buy a $300 evacuation kit, but don't wait."
For a better experience, click here to view the full map in a new window
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Map shows riskiest areas in California for damaging wildfires
- How bad will CA's fire season be? Here's what we know, what we don't
- How to prepare for a wildfire evacuation
- How to prepare your pets in case of disaster
- How to make a pet carrier in case of emergency
- Most destructive California wildfires in history
- The deadliest wildfires in California history
- Live: Track Bay Area air quality levels
- How are wildfires started? A look at the causes of some of the worst in California history
- The difference between containing and controlling a wildfire
- What's in wildfire smoke? How it can impact your health
- What are the diablo winds and how can they influence Northern California wildfires?
- What you need to know about Santa Ana winds and California wildfires
- Safety tips to remember when returning home after wildfire
- How to pick a mask for protection during a wildfire
- Red flag warning: What to do during dangerous fire conditions
- Everything to know about red flame retardant dropped during wildfires
- What happens to animals during wildfires?
- How to drive safely during a power outage
- How wildfires create a serious threat for flooding and mudflows
- These aircraft are on the front lines of the fight against California wildfires