In Journey to Topaz, Yoshiko Uchida, in her tale of one family's evacuation, describes how Japanese Americans were required to register at a Civil Control Station. Here they were issued tags for the baggage they could take with them when they were evacuated. Shortwave radios, firearms, cameras, and binoculars were to be delivered at a police station. They were placed under an eight p.m. curfew and forbidden to travel more than five kilometers from home. They were only allowed to take what they could carry, meaning two suitcases each, and they needed to take bedding and blankets with them to the camp. Yuki's family has to dispose of all their furniture and almost all of their possessions.
Pets were forbidden at the camp, so in the book, Ken, the eldest son of the family, places an ad in the university paper looking for a new home for their dog, Pepper. He promises his little sister that she can decide who can take the dog, and she and Ken agree on a sympathetic student named Andy.
The family's evacuation orders, along with those for the other Japanese in Berkeley, are given on April 21, 1942. Although the Japanese Americans had been expecting this for some time, the edict only allowed them ten days to prepare for evacuation. Family friends drive Yuki, her mother, and her brother to the church acting as the Local Control Center, and from there they are taken to the Tanforan racetrack. Their journey to a camp in distant Utah has begun.