In some situations evacuation is the only protective action available. If you are advised to evacuate, first consider going to the homes of relatives or friends, or checking into a hotel or motel outside the danger area. If these locations are not feasible then you will need to go to a shelter site, but remember that most shelter sites will not allow pets to be brought in due to health, safety and space reasons. If special accommodations are required, the shelter will instruct you as to where to take your pets.
If instructed to evacuate:
- Stay calm - don't panic.
- Take only essential emergency supplies with you.
- Do not go to pick up children at school. They will be taken care of at school or taken to a shelter outside the affected area. Listen to local radio or TV stations, they will have information on where to pick up your children and shelter locations.
- Unless you are planning to stay with friends or family, leave your pets and other animals at home. Be sure to put out plenty of water and food for your animals before you leave.
- Turn off all lights and appliances (including the hot water heater) with the exception of the refrigerator and freezer.
- Secure windows and doors and tie a white cloth or white towel to your front door as an indicator that you have evacuated (this will save emergency responders time when searching for victims or fatalities).
- Follow the recommended routes. Do not take shortcuts.
- Notify a family contact person of your location.
- Stay tuned to your local radio stations for updates.
- Do not return home until advised to do so.