Protecting Yourself

The MOST IMPORTANT THING in the event of an emergency or evacuation scenario is to have a plan: 

  • Know where you will evacuate to and the best route to get there.
  • Have supplies kit(s) ready to use and easily accessible (in cars, at home, and at work).

What do I do if an evacuation order has been issued? 

First, unplug electrical equipment (IE: televisions, toasters, and microwaves). 

  • Turn off gas, electricity, and water to the house.
  • If your city or municipality officials order a voluntary evacuation of the area it is up to an individual’s discretion whether or not to evacuate. If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable in your home/workplace, you should evacuate.
  • Mandatory evacuations are designed to keep residents safe. In mandatory evacuation scenarios, residents must and should leave their homes and the area at risk.
  • Follow these instructions to evacuate yourself and your family: https://www.ready.gov/evacuating-yourself-and-your-family.
  • Plan ahead, and ensure all members of the household are aware of the plan and capable of executing it. 
  •  Alert family members, neighbors, and local friends when you choose to evacuate to your planned destination. Communication can fail during disaster situations, so designate a person outside of the at-risk area to know what your plan is in case of communication failure. 
  • Be aware of when the possibility of evacuation increases. If evacuation seems imminent or likely, make sure to keep a full tank of gas in your car. As you evacuate, try and keep your tank half full to prevent running low on congested roads.
  • Check other fluid levels in the car and tire pressure. Additionally, make sure the vehicle you are planning on taking is well maintained and capable of handling a long trip. 
  • Important documents to pack when evacuating

What should I pack in a supply kit? 

General information on supply kits can be found here.

For home supply kits:

  • Keep it in a designated place that everyone in the family is aware of.
  • This kit should contain essential food, water, and supplies for at least three days.

For work supply kits:

  • One container that you can easily take with you in case you are evacuated from your workplace.
  • Make sure you have food, water, and comfortable walking shoes. 

For car supply kits:

  • Kit should contain food, water, first aid supplies, flares, jumper cables, and seasonal supplies (such as snow chains)

What if I or someone in my household/workplace has special needs?

  • Just as with any other safety precaution, having a clear plan is the best way to prepare for a disaster if you or a family member has special needs. Helpful tips and suggestions can be found here.

What if there is a baby or small child in my household? 

Have an emergency supply kit for your child, kept in the same area(s) as your general kits. These kits should include: 

  • diapers
  • wipes
  • medications (if applicable) 
  • bottles
  • formula
  • water (for cleaning, and mixing with powdered formula)
  • battery operated fan (children are more sensitive to extreme weather conditions) 
  • 3 days worth of baby food/a spoon
  • blanket(s)