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During an emergency, you may decide it is best to leave home, or public officials may order you to leave.

Create an Evacuation Plan

  • Plan how you will meet up with your family and where you will go if you need to evacuate. Choose several destinations in different directions so that you will have options in an emergency.
  • If you have a car, keep at least a half-tank of gas in it at all times.
  • If you do not have a car, plan how you will leave. Make arrangements with a neighbor, friend or family member in advance.
  • Take your emergency supply kit.
  • Lock the door behind you.
  • Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters.
  • If time allows, call, email or text the out-of-state contact in your family communications plan.

Turn Around, Don't Drown

It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into floodwaters. People underestimate the force and power of rushing water. Each year, flooding causes more deaths than any other weather hazard. Whether you are driving or walking, any time you come to a flooded area, Turn Around, Don’t Drown®.

If you come to a flooded area, you will not know the depth of the water or the condition of the ground under the water.

  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling.
  • Twelve inches of water will float many vehicles.
  • Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pick-ups.

Emergency Shelters and Assistance Centers

Local authorities may instruct you to seek shelter in an emergency shelter. An emergency shelter is an immediate short-term accommodation for people threatened or displaced by an incident. Public emergency shelters provide accommodations for all population groups.

Many jurisdictions provide locations for residents to obtain assistance or specific services, such as showers, laundry facilities or charging stations for electronic devices. Check with your local emergency management office for more information.