If Evacuation Becomes Necessary

If You are Ordered to Evacuate

Because of the destructive power of a hurricane, you should never ignore an evacuation order. Authorities will most likely direct you to leave if you are in a low-lying area or within the greatest potential path of the storm. If a hurricane warning is issued for your area or you are directed by authorities to evacuate:

  • Take only essential items with you.
  • Make sure you have an emergency kit in your car.
  • If you have time, turn off the gas, electricity, and water in your apartment or home.
  • Unplug appliances to reduce the likelihood of electrical shock when power is restored.
  • Follow the designated evacuation routes and expect heavy traffic.

If You are Ordered NOT to Evacuate

There are things you can do to get through the storm in the safest possible manner:

  • Monitor the radio or TV for weather conditions.
  • Stay indoors until the authorities declare it is safe to go out.
  • Even if the weather appears to have calmed -- do not go outside. The calm "eye" of the storm can pass quickly, leaving you outside when strong winds resume.
  • Stay away from all windows and exterior doors. Take shelter in an interior bathroom or in a basement that will provide protection from high winds and flying debris.
  • Turn off power when there is standing water or fallen power lines.
  • Prepare to evacuate to a shelter or to a neighbor's home if your home is damaged, or if you're instructed to do so by emergency personnel.
  • Many hurricane-related injuries are cuts caused by flying glass and debris. Other injuries include bone fractures and puncture wounds from exposed nails, metal, or glass.