Evacuating to an Emergency Shelter? What You Need to Know

• First, make sure your emergency shelter destination is well outside the storm risk area. Businesses or other organizations offering shelters inside the hurricane warning area will still be at risk to suffer the full effects of the approaching storm.

• Consider your vehicle as one level of storage, and what you will take inside as another, more personal level. Some items can be stored in a secured vehicle, but would not be permitted inside a shelter.

• Plan to leave extra early — several hours ahead of your desired arrival time — because travel will be slow due to worsening weather and heavy traffic.

• Be ready to use an alternate route to your shelter, in case primary evacuation routes become too congested.

• Pack what you need — and only what you need. Emergency shelters will not have space to house your “family treasures,” so limit your packing to necessities only.

• Let family and friends know exactly which shelter you plan to use and where it is located. Make a plan to let loved ones know you’ve arrived safely.

• Be sure your vehicle is filled with gas and in good operating condition.

• Some shelters are pet friendly but otherwise, make other arrangements for pets, because emergency shelters won’t accept them.

WHAT TO PACK

• Blankets, pillows,sleeping gear
• Charging cables and/or USB battery units for electronic devices
• Non perishable foods that do not require cooking
• Water
• Extra clothing for each family member
• Baby supplies, such as diapers, baby formula/food, baby wipes, quiet toys
• Flashlight with extra batteries
• Medications
• Disinfectants
• Portable ice chest
• Personal hygiene items
• Quiet family activities — books, cards, puzzles, children’s coloring books and crayons, etc.

DON’T PACK THESE

• Weapons or firearms
• Alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs
• Pets
• Valuables and “family treasures” of irreplaceable value
• Candles, kerosene lamps or other flammables