In Case of Evacuation

In a disaster situation, it may be necessary to evacuate your home for several days or longer. Because disasters can strike with little or no warning, you should be prepared to leave at a moment's notice. Knowing beforehand the steps to take in case of evacuation can make a big difference.


  • Contact the local emergency management office to learn evacuation routes for your area
  • Determine where you will go if your community is evacuated
  • Discuss with your family the possibility of evacuation
  • Find out your child's school evacuation policy
  • Check that your disaster supply kit is assembled and ready to go
  • Make sure your car is filled up—fuel may be in short supply during a disaster

When Authorities Tell You to Evacuate

  • Bring your disaster supply kit
  • Wear sturdy shoes and clothing
  • Unplug home electronics
  • Lock the doors and windows
  • Turn off the main switches and valves for gas, water and electricity, if instructed
  • Inform a friend or relative of your route
  • Follow recommended evacuation routes.
  • Watch for washed-out bridges, flooded areas and downed power lines


  • Pets should not be left behind during a disaster, but do not risk your own safety attempting to find them if you must evacuated quickly
  • Attach ID tags to your pet with your name and address
  • Remember that most emergency shelters do not allow pets (except service animals)
  • Make a list of pet shelters and of hotels that permit animals in the area you would evacuate to
  • Put together an emergency supply kit for your pet. Include things like a first aid kit, food dishes, a litter box, a leash or pet carrier, medication, food, veterinary records and water

If You're Going to a Public Shelter

  • Be aware that alcoholic beverages, pets and weapons are not allowed in public shelters
  • Practice patience and cooperation. Sharing space with many others can be a challenge
  • Stay in the shelter until authorities advise you it is safe to leave