There may be circumstances under which you will decide to leave or there may be situations when you are ordered to leave. Follow these guidelines for an evacuation (most of these tips are provided by Ready.gov):
- Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood. Use the Family Emergency Plan to decide these locations before a disaster.
- If you have a car, keep a full tank of gas in it if an evacuation seems likely. Plan to take one car per family to reduce congestion and delay.
- Become familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area. Locate several destinations in different directions so you have options in an emergency. These alternate routes are ONLY an option BEFORE a mandatory evacuation goes into effect. Now once a mandatory evacuation is issued, many of these alternate routes are blocked off.
- Leave early!
- If you leave during a mandatory evacuation, you must follow recommended evacuation routes.
- If you do not have a car, plan how you will leave if you have to. Make arrangements with family, friends or your local government.
- Take your emergency supply kit with you.
- Don't forget to pack a suitcase with clothing and other necessary items
- Listen to a battery-powered radio and follow local evacuation instructions.
- Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency.
- Upon returning, be alert of road hazards such as washed-out roads or bridges and downed power lines. Do not drive into flooded areas.
- Call or email the out-of-state contact in your family communications plan. Tell them where you are going.
- Secure your home by closing and locking doors and boarding up windows.
- Unplug electrical equipment such as radios, televisions and small appliances. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding. After the storm, if there is damage to your home and you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity.
- Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
- Check with neighbors who may need a ride.