Several types of disasters may force you to be evacuated from your home.
If you are told to evacuate, take the following steps:
- Listen carefully to instructions given by local officials. Evacuate immediately if told to do so.
- If you have time, grab your portable disaster (72-hour) kit. Make sure that you include any last-minute items, such as prescription medication, that you may need.
- Wear appropriate clothing and sturdy shoes.
- Be sure to shut your windows and turn off your HVAC so your home doesn't suck in smoky air and cause damage inside your home.
- Have a checklist of important items you want to take with you so you don't forget something in a stressful situation.
- Take your pets with you. Even if a designated shelter isn't set up for pets, know that officials may create a pet shelter.
- Be sure to transport pets in their cages or kennels and bring any food or medications they might need.
- Lock your home.
- Use travel routes outlined by local officials. Do not take short cuts; they may be unsafe.
- Keep fuel in your car if evacuation seems likely. Gas stations may be closed during emergencies.
- If you go to a shelter, notify staff of any special needs you may have. They will try to accommodate you and make you comfortable.
Be prepared to leave your home if:
- Your area is without electrical power or water for an extended period of time.
- There is a chemical emergency affecting your area.
- Flood water is rising.
- A wild land fire is burning near your home.
- Your home has been severely damaged.
- Local officials tell you to evacuate
Evacuations are more common than many people realize. Hundreds of times each year, transportation and industrial accidents release harmful substances, forcing thousands of people to leave their homes. Fires and floods cause evacuations even more frequently.