An order to evacuate could come at any moment. By planning ahead, individuals can evacuate quickly and safely without sacrificing important documents and family mementos. Copies of important and irreplaceable documents or family pictures should be made, and the originals placed in a bank safe deposit box away from home. The goal should be to spend as little time as possible collecting possession following an evacuation order.
- Lock door and windows and turn off utilities as you would for a vacation.
- Shut off systems that draw outside air, such as fire places, furnaces and air conditioners.
- If you can provide transportation for a neighbor who has none, do so.
- Bring essential items, such as:
- Medical supplies (prescriptions, first aid)
- Money (cash, credit cards, important documents)
- Personal hygiene items (washing, shaving, dental, eye-care, sanitary)
- Clothing, bedding
- Baby needs (formula, diapers, favorite toys)
- Portable radio and batteries
- Miscellaneous useful items (matches, flashlights, plastic bags, manual can opener)
- Keep your radio tuned to a local station for emergency news updates.
Alert & Warning to Evacuate
Depending upon the nature and location of the disaster/emergency, there may be a sufficient amount of time for Law Enforcement to alert residents of the need to prepare to evacuate. Evacuation orders will be accomplished primarily with the use of loud speakers and door to door contacts. The goal will be to safety move the affected population AWAY from the disaster site to pre-established emergency shelters or relocate until the disaster is under control and it is safe to return.
As the emergency unfolds, the City Public Information Officer in conjunction with the American Red Cross will prepare and issue a statement to the local media and Emergency Broadcast System, providing precise information about the location of the disaster, evacuation routes and temporary shelters.
An evacuation order could occur during school hours. If you have children at school in the affected areas, do not try to pick them up. These facilities will be following their own evacuation procedures. Contact your child's school for more information about its evacuation procedures.
Most pet owners understandably worry about leaving their pets behind in a rushed, evacuation situation. Local Animal Control officers will attempt to hold wayward pets until theirs owners can claim them, but residents have the ultimate responsibility for keeping their pets indoors or in the backyard, and prepared for an evacuation situation. Pet owners should always keep a leash and carrying box ready for use.