Evacuation Etiquette: Getting Everyone Out Safely
Evacuating for an emergency can be a hassle. Here are some ways to help make the process smooth for you, your family and your neighbors.
The most critical time is actually before the warning is ever issued. The quicker you can get out, the better your chances of dodging heavy traffic and weather-related hazards.
Plan ahead to save time:
- Know where you will go, including backup options.
- Have a set meeting place in town for family, or any carpooling neighbors or friends.
- Plan the best routes and alternatives in advance; don’t rely on a GPS in an emergency.
- Have your evacuation kit ready and easy to grab.
- Keep gas in the car (or fuel up before you go). Evacuation routes may be congested.
- Keep cash. If electricity is out, ATMs and credit cards will not work.
When you are leaving:
- Try to only take one car for your family, packing only essential items. Carpool if you can. This will help keep traffic congestion down.
- Leave as soon as possible. Leaving early can help you miss the traffic and weather hazards.
- Follow recommended routes in case shortcuts are be blocked.
- Listen for updates about traffic and road closures, and for disaster sirens
- Do not drive through standing water, no matter how shallow it looks
- Be alert for any other storm-related hazards, like downed power lines.
- Let your emergency shelter know you are coming
Remember to be courteous of others who are on the road. Everyone will probably be under a lot of stress, so be considerate. Prepare to deal with the traffic, and don’t drive aggressively. It won’t help the congestion, but instead increases your own risk of an accident, which could hold up everyone trying to get to safety. Plus, it adds unnecessary stress to you and your travel companions.
Need other hurricane preparation and evacuation tips? Read on.