Hurricane Evacuation

Questions & Answers

How do I know when to evacuate?
Listen regularly to your local radio or television stations when the threat of tropical storms or hurricanes exists. Pay close attention when such storms threaten your local area. If it appears that a storm may affect the local area, local officials may order or recommend that residents evacuate and also provide instructions about what people in those areas should do. Be ready to follow the instructions given by local officials. Because it takes time to evacuate heavily populated areas, evacuations may be recommended well before the storm makes landfall.

Who should consider leaving before hurricane evacuation is recommended for the general public?

What should I do if I need help to evacuate?

What should I take with me?

If I plan on going to a public shelter, what additional items should I take?
Public shelters are austere facilities that provide temporary housing for evacuees. Most shelters do not have beds or cots, so you will probably be sleeping on the floor. So pack as if you were going camping. Bring:

What should I NOT take to a public shelter?
Alcoholic beverages, weapons, and drugs are not allowed in public shelters.

Why should I carry food and drinks in my car?
Stopping for food or drinks during a large-scale evacuation may significantly delay you in getting to your destination. Some restaurants and stores along hurricane routes may be closed and those that are open are likely to be very crowded. Additionally, once you leave the evacuation route to purchase food or drinks, it may be difficult to re-enter the flow of traffic.

What can I do to help others?
Check on friends and neighbors to make sure they have transportation or to see if they need help in getting essential items together so they can be ready to evacuate. Assist them if you can. If you cannot, help them get in touch with the local emergency management office.

How do I know where to go in an evacuation?
Decide early on where you will go when a hurricane threatens so that you can make preparations. Your general objective should be to move away from the coast and well inland.

What if I want to stay in my RV or camping trailer?
Keep in mind that both tropical storms and hurricanes often produce torrential rains and tornadoes well inland. If you plan to stay in an RV or trailer, you might want to avoid campgrounds located adjacent to streams and rivers or whose only access is via a low water crossing. And you may want to seek a campground that has some sort of stout building that could be used as a tornado shelter.