You can determine the need to evacuate based on immediate personal danger or if a mandatory evacuation order is issued by your local authorities.

  • If you fear for your safety, smell smoke, see fire, or are in an unsafe dwelling during a tornado or high winds, evacuate immediately.
  • Create and maintain a three-day family preparedness kit and develop a safety plan. Consider storing your kit in a container designed for ease of movement in the event of an evacuation.
  • Listen to local officials for evacuation routes and methods; carpool when possible.
  • Leave a note for family and friends to identify where you are relocating.
  • If time permits, shut off both electricity and water, and lock your home.
  • Leave the gas utility on unless otherwise directed by local authorities.
  • If you bring your pet, make sure it is wearing a collar and, if possible, in a pet carrier that is labeled. Bring food and water for your pet.
  • Call your out-of-town emergency contact as soon as possible once you arrive and settle into your temporary shelter.

Frequently Asked Question: What is an out-of-town emergency contact?

In major disasters, when communication grids are damaged or overloaded, it is often easier to successfully connect to out-of-state numbers than it is to make local calls. Your out-of-town emergency contact is someone your family has designated ahead of time to be the central point of contact in an emergency. This individual will serve as an information clearinghouse if family members become separated and cannot successfully place local calls or reach one another. Add your emergency contact phone number to each family member’s cell phone and carry it in each wallet or purse.

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