Be Ready for an Evacuation
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Make sure you know what to do before, during and after evacuating your home. Read below and then share above to spread the word.
During an emergency, it may be necessary for you to evacuate your home to move your family out of the way of approaching danger. Depending on the situation, you may have several days to prepare for a possible evacuation. In other scenarios, you will need to evacuate immediately.
Know the dangers where you live, and the types of situations that might cause an evacuation. You may make the preemptive decision to evacuate as the best thing for your family. If you are instructed to evacuate by the authorities, you should do so immediately.
Be ready for an evacuation
Because you may need to evacuate with short notice, it is best to be prepared:
Create an emergency evacuation plan for you family:
Be sure everyone in your family understands the plan. Practice it, especially with children. And don’t forget to plan for you pets too.
Identify multiple evacuation routes and several places where you can go and stay during an emergency. Choose locations in different directions so you have options depending on the scenario.
Designate an out-of-state contact you can use to relay information in the event your family is separated. During an emergency, it may be difficult to connect a local phone call.
Assemble a “go-bag” or emergency kit that you can take with you
This is separate from the emergency kit you would use if forced to shelter-in-place in your home for several days, although there is overlap among the supplies you will need:
Food and water
First aid kit
Back supply of necessary medications
Cash in small bills
Remember, if you are evacuating on foot, you will need to be able to carry your go-bag with you.
If you have a car:
Keep at least a half tank of gas in your car at all times in case you need to evacuate immediately. If a potential evacuation is imminent, keep a full tank of gas in your car. Gas stations may be closed during the emergency.
Assemble a portable emergency kit with additional supplies to keep in your car at all times.
Know how to manually open your garage door in the event of a power outage.
If you have time before you leave
Once the decision is made to evacuate, it is important to leave as quickly as possible. No property is worth risking the lives of you and your family.
However, if you have advanced warning before an evacuation, you can also:
Grab important documents and irreplaceable objects
During an evacuation, you may have the impulse to grab stuff (like an old photo album or family heirloom jewelry), so plan ahead by making a list of the objects you absolutely want to bring with you and where to find them, so you can quickly grab them and go. Remember not to take too much or anything too heavy, as you will need to carry it.
Wear protective clothing, including sturdy shoes, pants, long-sleeved shirt, and hat. Close and lock the windows and doors or your home. Unplug electric equipment and small appliances. Leave refrigerators and freezers plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding.
Leave a note that will tell others when you left and where you are going. Don’t forget your neighbors. Be aware of neighbors who are elderly or disables who may need extra help during an evacuation.
Staying safe during an evacuation.
Follow the instructions of authorities
Do not attempt to go around barriers, as officials use them to safely control traffic.
Listen to your battery-operated radio for important information and updates
Avoid hazards such as downed power lines or damaged bridges
Never attempt to walk, swim, or drive through floodwaters
Return home only after you are instructed by local officials that it is safe to do so
Do not enter a building if the structural integrity has been damaged. If you suspect a gas leak, exit the building immediately. Inform PG&E once you are a safe distance away from the building.
If you see a downed power line, avoid puddles and standing water and inform PG&E immediately. Call 911 and then PG&E at 1-800-743-5000
Do not attempt to use any electronics or appliances that have been damaged or exposed to floodwaters. Wait until they have been checked for safety.
To learn more, visit ready.gov/evacuation
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