Emergency Preparedness

If You Must Evacuate...

In some emergencies, local officials may order an evacuation of the island to keep residents and visitors safe. You may be told ahead of time, as with a hurricane. Or, you may not have much time to leave as in the case of industrial accidents. Always follow the orders of the local emergency management officials.  Follow these guidelines when evacuating:

  • Stay informed-listen to local media.
  • Fill your car with gasoline. Take only one vehicle to lower the amount of traffic.
  • Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
  • Plan where your family will meet and go. Tell family or friends of your plans. A list of New Hanover County Shelters can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.
  • Take your family’s and pet’s emergency kits.
  • 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 now.
  • Bring key family papers.
  • Bring extra cash. Banks may be closed, and cash tellers may not work.
  • Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts; they may be blocked.
  • Be alert for road hazards such as washed-out roads or bridges and downed power lines. Do not drive into flooded areas.
  • 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 hat.

Click here for evacuation routes in North Carolina. Click here for what to take to a shelter.