Evacuations are more common than you might think, so it is wise to prepare for the possibility. In addition to having your emergency kit ready to go, you should also know your evacuation plan and map it out.
In most cases, if an evacuation is required, the local authorities will tell you what to do. Or you may have warning sirens where you live to notify you of impending danger. However, in some cases you may decide on your own that evacuation is a good idea.
In any case, you may not have much time to evacuate, so having an emergency kit ready to grab and go is essential. You should also contact your local emergency management office to find out the evacuation routes where you live.
Get a map of your city and mark the evacuation routes in a red marker. You may know of a shorter route, but those routes may be blocked in an emergency situation. Once you have the recommended routes marked, make a few practice runs with your family.
Have your family pretend that an evacuation has been ordered. See how long it takes to gather emergency kits and other essentials and get into your vehicle. Then practice traveling each route.
Make sure you have an emergency location to stay if you do need to evacuate. Many people stay in shelters, but if you can make other arrangements, such as staying with a friend or relative that isn’t in the evacuation zone, you’ll probably be more comfortable.
Make sure you keep a copy of your evacuation map in each vehicle. Keep in mind, during an evacuation, you will need more time to get to your intended destination.
Here are a few more evacuation tips:
- Keep a full tank of gas, especially in times when evacuation may seem likely, such as during hurricane season.
- If you do not have a vehicle, you will need to make other arrangements ahead of time.
- Have a non-electric emergency radio so you can keep up with evacuation instructions.
- If an evacuation is ordered, go immediately.
- Pay attention for washed out roads and do not attempt to drive through flooded areas.
- Stay far away from downed power lines.
- If there is enough time, secure your home and unplug electrical devices if there is a chance of flooding.
- Make sure someone knows where you are going and let them know when you arrive safely.