As a hurricane approaches your area, you may be ordered (or simply decide it's wisest) to evacuate. Without proper planning, you may find yourself stuck in endless traffic, taking the wrong roads, running out of fuel or supplies, or otherwise in danger instead of a safe place.
Better to plan ahead with these guidelines from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):
- Before a disaster, plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
- If you have a car, keep its gas tank full if an evacuation seems likely. In case of an unexpected need to evacuate, never let the gas level fall below half-full. Gas stations may be closed during emergencies or unable to pump gas during power outages. Plan to take one car per family to reduce congestion and delay.
- Familiarize yourself with alternate routes and other methods of transportation out of your area. Choose several destinations in different directions, so you have options in an emergency.
- Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
- Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts; they may be blocked.
- Be alert for road hazards, such as washed-out roads or bridges and downed power lines. Do not drive into flooded areas.
- Plan how you will leave if you must evacuate without a car. Make arrangements with family, friends, or your local government.
- Take an emergency supply kit, unless you have reason to believe it has been contaminated.
- Listen to a battery-powered radio, and follow local evacuation instructions.
- Take your pets with you, and make specific plans for their care during an emergency. Be advised that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters.
These are just a few of the many useful details, including how to prepare your emergency supply kit, available at Ready.gov.