MAKE A PLAN TO EVACUATE
Draw a floor plan of your home. Use a blank sheet of paper for each floor. Mark two escape routes from each room. Make sure children understand the drawings. Post a copy of the drawings at eye level in each child’s room.
Where to Meet
Establish a place to meet in the event of an emergency, such as a fire station
|Where to meet
Near the home
For example, the next door neighbor’s telephone pole
Outside the immediate area
For example, the neighborhood grocery store parking lot
When community evacuations become necessary, local officials provide information to the public through the media. In some circumstances, other warning methods, such as sirens or telephone calls, also are used. Additionally, there may be circumstances under which you and your family feel threatened or endangered and you need to leave your home, school, or workplace to avoid these situations.
The amount of time you have to leave will depend on the hazard. If the event is a weather condition, such as a hurricane that can be monitored, you might have a day or two to get ready. However, many disasters allow no time for people to gather even the most basic necessities, which is why planning ahead is essential.
Evacuation: More Common than You Realize
Evacuations are more common than many people realize. Hundreds of times each year, transportation and industrial accidents release harmful substances, forcing thousands of people to leave their homes. Fires and floods cause evacuations even more frequently. Almost every year, people along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts evacuate in the face of approaching hurricanes.
Ask local authorities about emergency evacuation routes and see if maps may are available with evacuation routes marked. Click here to download the Suffolk County Evacuation Routes Map
Click here to learn about shelter locations and which shelters are currently open in actual emergency situations.
- Keep a full tank of gas in your car if an evacuation seems likely. Gas stations may be closed during emergencies and unable to pump gas during power outages. Plan to take one car per family to reduce congestion and delay.
- Make transportation arrangements with friends or your local government if you do not own a car.
- Listen to a battery-powered radio and follow local evacuation instructions.
- Gather your family and go if you are instructed to evacuate immediately
- 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 washed-out roads and bridges. Do not drive into flooded areas.
- Stay away from downed power lines.
- Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency
- Take your emergency supply kit unless you have reason to believe it has been contaminated.
If time permits:
- Wear sturdy shoes and clothing that provides some protection, such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and a cap.
- Secure your home: Close and lock doors and windows.
- Unplug electrical equipment, such as radios and televisions, and small appliances, such as toasters and microwaves. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding.
- Let others know where you are going.
- Check with neighbors who may need a ride.
- Call or email the "out-of-state" contact in your family communications plan. Tell them where you are going. Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going
If you are not able to evacuate, stay indoors away from all windows. Take shelter in an interior room with no windows if possible. Be aware that there may be a sudden lull in the storm as the eye of the hurricane moves over. Stay in your shelter until local authorities say it is safe.
- Local authorities may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should listen to NOAA Weather Radio, watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for official news and instructions as they become available.
- Stay out of flood waters, if possible. The water may be contaminated or electrically charged. However, should you find yourself trapped in your vehicle in rising water get out immediately and seek higher ground.
- Be alert for tornadoes and flooding. If you see a funnel cloud, or if local authorities issue a tornado warning take shelter underground, if possible or in an interior room away from windows. If waters are rising quickly or local authorities issue a floor of flash flood warning, seek higher ground.
- Stay away from downed power lines to avoid the risk of electric shock or electrocution.
- Do not return to your home until local authorities say it is safe. Even after the hurricane and after flood waters recede, roads may be weakened and could collapse. Buildings may be unstable, and drinking water may be contaminated. Use common sense and exercise caution.
Additional Huricane Planning and Preparation Information:
Additional Hurricane Preparedness Resources