What to Do if Evacuation Is Necessary

  • Leave as soon as possible (if possible, in daylight). Avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges. Roads and bridges frequently become crowded and traffic moves slow. Evacuation will probably take longer than expected. Give yourself plenty of time.
  • Secure your home by unplugging appliances and turning off electricity and the main water valve. This will reduce potential damage to your appliances (from power surges) and to your home.
  • Tell someone outside of the storm area where you are going. Relatives and friends will be concerned about your safety. Letting someone know your travel plans will help relieve their fear and anxiety.
  • If time permits, and you live in an identified surge zone or area prone to flooding, move furniture to a higher floor. Moving valuable furnishings helps reduce potential damage.
  • Bring preassembled emergency supplies and warm protective clothing. People frequently arrive at shelters or hotels with nothing. Having these items will make you more comfortable in other locations.
  • While shelters provide a safe place to stay and food, specialty items for infants and individuals on restricted diets may not be available. It may take several days until permission is given by local authorities to re-enter an evacuated area. Bring these items with you to a shelter:
    • First aid kit, manual, and prescription medications.
    • Baby food and diapers.
    • Cards, games, books.
    • Toiletries.
    • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries.
    • Flashlight (one per person) and extra batteries.
    • Blankets or sleeping bags. Identification.
    • Valuable papers (copies of insurance papers, passports, and other essential documents).
  • Lock up your home and leave. There may be individuals evacuating after you, or returning before you. Police may be busy with hurricane-related emergencies and not able to patrol neighborhoods as usual. Lock your property as you normally would when leaving home.