Emergency Preparedness

If You Must Evacuate...

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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.