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With an evacuation plan, you'll know where to go.

You will need the following supplies when you leave your homes; put them all together in a duffle bag or large container in advance:

  • Flashlight with plenty of extra batteries
  • Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription medications in their original bottle, plus extra copies of the prescriptions
  • Eyeglasses (with a copy of the prescription)
  • Water (at least one gallon per person is recommended; more is better)
  • Foods that do not require refrigeration or cooking
  • Items that infants and elderly household members may require
  • Medical equipment and devices, such as dentures, crutches, prostheses, etc.
  • Change of clothes for each household member
  • Sleeping bag or bedroll and pillow for each household member
  • Checkbook, cash, and credit cards
  • Map of the area

Knowing the route helps you avoid jams.

 

Red Cross Disaster Services
Your Evacuation Plan

What to do if a disaster threatens and you need to leave home in a hurry.

The American Red Cross wants you to know what to do if a hurricane, flood, mudslide, landslide, chemical emergency, or other disaster threatens and you need to leave your home in a hurry, or if local government officials request or require evacuation. Use this checklist to make a personal evacuation plan, so you and your family will be ready.

Local government officials, not the Red Cross, issue evacuation orders when disaster threatens. Listen to local radio and television reports when disaster threatens. If local officials ask you to leave, do so immediately!

If you have only moments before leaving, grab these things and go!

  • Medical supplies: prescription medications and dentures
  • Disaster supplies: flashlight, batteries, radio, first aid kit, bottled water
  • Clothing and bedding: a change of clothes and a sleeping bag or bedroll and pillow for each household member
  • Car keys and keys to the place you may be going (friend’s or relative’s home)

If local officials haven’t advised an immediate evacuation, but there’s a chance the weather may get worse and flooding may happen, take steps to protect you home and belongings. Do this only if local officials have not asked you to leave.

These checklists will help you prepare:

Bring Things Indoors.
Lawn furniture, trash cans, children’s toys, garden equipment, clotheslines, hanging plants and any other objects that may fly around and damage property should be brought indoors.

Leave trees and shrubs alone.
If you did not cut away dead or diseased branches or limbs from trees and shrubs, leave them alone. Local rubbish collection services will not have time before the storm to pick anything up.

Look for potential hazards.
Look for coconuts, unripened fruit, and other objects in trees around your property that could blow or break off and fly around in high winds. Cut them off and store them indoors until the storm is over.

Turn off electricity and water.
Turn off electricity at the main fuse or breaker, and turn off water at the main valve.

Leave natural gas on.
Unless local officials advise otherwise, leave natural gas on because you will need it for heating and cooking when you return home. If you turn gas off, a licensed professional is required to turn it back on, and it may take weeks for a professional to respond.

Turn off propane service.
Propane tanks often become dislodged in disasters.

If high winds are expected, cover the outside of all windows of your home.
Use shutters that are rated to provide significant protection from windblown debris, or fir plywood coverings over all windows.

If flooding is expected, consider using sand bags to keep water away from your home.
It takes two people about one hour to fill and place 100 sandbags, giving you a wall one foot high and 20 feet long. Make sure you have enough sand, burlap or plastic bags, shovels, strong helpers, and time to place them properly.

Remember these points:

Houses do not explode due to air pressure differences.
Damage happens when the wind gets inside a home through a broken window, door, or damaged roof.

Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
All tape does is prevent windows from shattering. Using tape on windows is not recommended. Cover the outside of windows with shutters or plywood.

Protect your valuables.

Move objects that may get damaged by wind or water to safer areas of your home.
Move television sets, computers, stereo and electronic equipment, and easily moveable appliances like microwave ovens to higher levels of your home and away from windows. Wrap them in sheets, blankets, or burlap.

Make a visual or written record of all your household possessions.
Record model and serial numbers. This list could help you prove the value of what you owned if those possessions are damaged or destroyed, and can assist you to claim deductions on taxes. Be sure to include expensive items such as sofas, chairs, tables, beds, chests, wall units, and any other furniture too heavy to move. Do this for all items in your home, on all levels. Then store a copy of the record somewhere away from home, such as in a safe deposit box.

If it’s possible that your home may be significantly damaged by impending disaster, consider storing your household furnishings temporarily elsewhere.

Gather essential supplies and papers.

You will need the following supplies when you leave your homes; put them all together in a duffle bag or large container in advance:

  • Flashlight with plenty of extra batteries
  • Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription medications in their original bottle, plus extra copies of the prescriptions
  • Eyeglasses (with a copy of the prescription)
  • Water (at least one gallon per person is recommended; more is better)
  • Foods that do not require refrigeration or cooking
  • Items that infants and elderly household members may require
  • Medical equipment and devices, such as dentures, crutches, prostheses, etc.
  • Change of clothes for each household member
  • Sleeping bag or bedroll and pillow for each household member
  • Checkbook, cash, and credit cards
  • Map of the area

Important papers to take with you:

  • Driver’s license or personal identification
  • Social Security Card
  • Proof of residence (deed or lease)
  • Insurance policies
  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Stocks, bonds, and other negotiable certificates
  • Wills, deeds, and copies of recent tax returns

Remember Your Pets

  • Pets are not permitted in Red Cross shelters. Plan to take them to a friend’s or relative’s home or a hotel that accepts pets during times of emergency.
  • Remember to carry them in a sturdy carrier.
  • Have identification, collar, leash, and proof of vaccinations for all pets.
  • Have food and water for your pets.
  • Have a current photo of you pets in case they get lost.

All Red Cross assistance is given free of charge. This is made possible by the generous contributions of people’s time, money, and skills. One of the best ways to help the Red Cross assist people affected by disasters is to make financial contributions to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Call 1-800- HELP NOW or contact your local Red Cross chapter.