If an emergency is occurring, you may hear an order to evacuate (leave your home). Never ignore an order to evacuate. Even sturdy, well-built houses may not hold up against a fire, flood or hurricane. Staying home to protect your property is not worth risking your health and safety.
If You Need to Evacuate:
Only take what you really need with you, like your cell phone, medicines, identification (like a passport or license), and cash (ATM and credit card machines may not be working).
Make sure you take your emergency kit with you unless you have reason to believe it has been contaminated.
Follow the roads that emergency workers recommend even if there’s traffic. Other routes might be blocked.
Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood. Use the Family Emergency Plan to decide these locations before a disaster.
If you have a car, keep a full tank of gas in it if an evacuation seems likely. Keep a half tank of gas in it at all times in case of an unexpected need to evacuate. 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.
Become familiar with alternate routes and other means 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.
Be alert for road hazards such as washed-out roads or bridges and downed power lines. Do not drive into flooded areas.
If you do not have a car, plan how you will leave if you have to. Make arrangements with family, friends or your local government.
Listen to a battery-powered radio and follow local evacuation instructions.
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.
If time allows:
Call or email the out-of-state contact in your family communications plan. Tell them where you are going.
Secure your home by closing and locking doors and windows.
Unplug electrical equipment such as radios, televisions and small appliances. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding. If there is damage to your home and you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving.
Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
Wear sturdy shoes and clothing that provides some protection such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and a cap.
Check with neighbors who may need a ride.
Be alert as normal traffic patterns may be temporarily changed to accommodate the evacuation in the most efficient and expedient manner.
You will be instructed as to the locations of reception centers or shelters if you do not have a pre- established location to evacuate to. Reception center and shelter locations will be made available once the evacuation instruction has been given or there is a need to have them opened. Not all shelters are suitable for all emergencies and some shelters may be located in the affected area or may not be accessible.
Evacuations and returns to the affected area may be carried out by zone or priority to avoid additional stress on damaged infrastructure or to affect them in the most expedient manner when moving large amounts of people.
Wait for instructions from emergency officials before returning to the evacuation area. Obey instructions from persons staffing traffic and access control points.
Be sure you have identification or a return access permit prior to attempting to gain access to the emergency area once the announcement has been made that you may return.
If you or someone you know may have difficulty evacuating or receiving emergency instructions, register for the Catasauqua Emergency Management Agency 911 Community Registry