Evacuation Plans


The need to evacuate for flooding or another emergency can come about quickly. You might not have much time to plan. That’s why you always need to be ready, for the safety of yourself and your family.

Take steps now to be prepared.

On this page:

Know your evacuation route and evacuation plan.

It’s best to plan a safe route ahead of time. But you also need to be prepared to make last-minute changes.

  • Contact your local emergency management agency to ask about evacuation routes. These routes may not extend to your specific address, so also plan how you will get to the route. Keep a written copy of these routes and plans in your home.
  • If you do not have a car, make a plan for how you will leave if you have to. Carpooling with friends or neighbors is a good place to start.
  • Always listen to radio or TV for updates when you know an evacuation might be necessary. Evacuation routes can change. For example, downed trees or floodwaters could make a road impassable.
  • Never drive through flooded roads.

Know where to go for safety.

When you evacuate, you’ll need to know where you are going for shelter. You may have more than one option.

  • Friends and family are the best option. Check with relatives and friends living in other locations to find out if they are able and willing to let you stay with them during an emergency. Keep a written list with names, addresses, and phone numbers in an easy-to-access location at home.
  • Contact your local emergency management agency to ask about shelters in your area. Make a list of these shelters and keep a copy of this list in your home. Shelter locations can change during an emergency, so tune in to local news for the latest information.

Create an evacuation kit.

Think of this as your “go” bag. It will contain the things you most need to take care of yourself and your family. You can grab it and go without having to look for the contents. Store it someplace that is easy to get to and make sure everyone in the family knows where it is.

The kit should be easy to carry and contain the following items:

  • Copies of ID, such as driver’s licenses or birth certificates
  • Copies of insurance policies
  • Prescription medications or a written record of what you take, including the medication name and dosage, and your pharmacy’s phone number
  • Small, nonperishable food items, such as granola bars
  • A small amount of water
  • A small amount of money in small bills (ATMs and banks may not be available)
  • Flashlights and a portable radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Personal care items such as toothpaste, hand sanitizer, soap, and feminine hygiene products
  • Gear for inclement weather, such as ponchos
  • Items for pets

If you are taking a car and have more room, you can bring with you the larger disaster supply kit you created for sheltering at home. You can also take additional comfort items with you, such as blankets, sleeping bags, and extra clothing.