11.1 Home Evacuation Plan

The Virginia (US) Department of Emergency Management suggest the following steps in the preparation of a home evacuation plan:

  • Coastal residents should become familiar with their designated evacuation routes and know where they will go if ordered to evacuate. Emergency officials have designated hurricane evacuation routes for Hampton, the Eastern Shore, Norfolk, Poquoson, the Middle Peninsula, the Northern Neck, Virginia Beach and York County. City or county officials will issue a evacuation order if conditions warrant it. If you have questions about your area’s evacuation routes, you can contact your local emergency manager.
  • Residents living inland should know where to go if ordered to evacuate their area. Flash floods can develop in a matter of minutes, with little or no warning. Know ahead of time where your family should go to find higher ground.
  • Identify ahead of time where you could go if you have to leave your home. Choose several places, such as a friend’s home in another town, a motel and a shelter.
  • Remember that evacuation shelters often do not supply pillows, blankets or sheets. Bring these items with you.
  • Animals other than service animals are usually not permitted into evacuation shelters. Make a plan ahead of time with a friend or relative, a veterinarian or a kennel that offers pet sheltering. Visit the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Office of Communications (VDACS) pet emergency planning http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/animals/petshelter.shtml for more information.
  • When severe weather is approaching, make sure you emergency supplies kit is nearby and listen to local radio or TV stations for evacuation instructions — you might have only minutes to act.
  • Keep the telephone numbers of evacuation shelters with a road map. You may need to take alternate or unfamiliar routes if major roads are closed or clogged.
  • Be sure to review your evacuation plan regularly to ensure that all of the information contained in it is still up to date. Make sure that all family members are familiar with the plan.