October 05, 2016
A government mandated evacuation is not something that should be taken lightly. When you receive the order to leave the area, follow it! It is not only for your own safety, but also the safety of your community. Wildfires, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes and other civic emergencies are the most common reasons for mandated evacuations. Since these emergencies are often difficult to predict, you and your family should have a plan ready just in case. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
Where will you be going? Will you be staying with family, friends or at a hotel? Whose car are you taking? Do you have enough food and water for everyone in your party? Where are the gas stations along the route? Do you have pets? What's the farthest possible distance you could be traveling? All of these questions, and more, should be answered before you head for the hills. Some evac orders don't come in until the 11th hour, leaving families very little time to get their affairs in order. The less you have to do before leaving your home, the better. Prepare your emergency kit, have your plan ready, evacuate when the order comes in.
Your friends and family will likely be concerned about your well being, and therefore, your location. Send a few texts, emails or make a phone call to let them know where you are staying, if you are safe and whether or not you need anything. Also, if you plan on staying with friends and family, let them know! Send regular updates and keep the line of communication as transparent as possible.