Know Your Zone!
If your zone has a mandatory evacuation order, you must decide between driving or flying out of your area or seeking shelter. Whichever option you choose, make the decision as quickly as possible so that it’s not too late to act on it. Find a shelter in your area.
Before you leave your home
- Clear your yard of debris or loose materials. This is critical to protecting your property as well as your neighbors.
- Take down any objects in trees, such as wind chimes or birdhouses, and bring inside any furniture or items that are not nailed down.
- Seal windows and doors. If you do not have shutters, use plywood. Note: using just tape will not secure the windows from breaking.
- Shut off utilities – such as gas, electricity, and water to prevent additional risks of flooding, fires, and explosions.
- Protect valuables by moving them to higher areas and unplugging electronics and wrapping them in blankets or sheets that you won’t be taking with you.
If you evacuate, taking the following with you:
- Important documents (Keep these in a plastic, waterproof case): Medical records, immunization records, and health insurance cards.
- Medical, auto, and property insurance policies, deed to your house or rental agreement.
- IDs, passport, birth certificate, and other important papers, including any immigration documents.
- List of bank account, credit card, investment, and other account numbers, plus the name & phone number of the financial institution
- Have cash on hand and let your credit card company know that you are traveling.
- Pet food, prescriptions and supplies.
- Extra clothing, blankets, and pillows.
- We recommend preparing at least a 72 hour supply of food and water prior to the onset of tropical storm conditions.
Here is a comprehensive list of of what to bring with you in case of an evacuation.
TIP: Take pictures of all of your important documents (IDs, drivers license, passport, medical, auto, and home insurance documents, anything that assesses value) and email them to yourself or a member of your family. This will make it easy to access them in case paper documents are destroyed or lost.
If it isn’t safe for you to stay, it also isn’t safe for your furry family. Make sure pets are micro-chipped and/or have I.D. collars. Be sure to bring along their leashes, medications, meal bowls, and three days worth of food and water. Some shelters allow pets but if you cannot bring your pet with you, please identify a shelter that accepts animals. For more information on protecting your pets, check out this guide by The Humane Society. I f you choose to drive toward a non-evacuated zone, remember:
- Know where you are headed. Print out or write directions in case cell phone towers are jammed.
- If you plan to drive you should leave early and fill your gas tank before the storm.
- Expect heavy traffic on the road. Be patient.
If you are flying out of state
- Check your flight status on the airline’s website. Many airports are posting updates on the storm and flights on Twitter at
- Arrive early. Airports will be very busy ahead of the hurricane.