JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – This week is Hurricane Preparedness Week, which is a great time to beginning thinking about the upcoming hurricane season.
One of the biggest topics if you live along the coast or in low lying areas is preparing an evacuation plan.
But there are some key things to think about before evacuating.
10s of miles not 100s of miles
Evacuations don’t need to be into the Carolinas or Tennessee.
The goal of an evacuation is to move people out of life-threatening situations. That does not mean an entire region is seeing the same threats.
The horror stories of eight-hour car rides to go 50 miles can be avoided by simply evacuating inland to a sturdy structure.
This much smaller travel will also help evacuees get back to their homes sooner.
Hurricanes can strengthen quickly
While meteorologists have become fairly accurate in the track of hurricanes, intensity remains a challenge.
Hurricanes can quickly intensify, sometimes in a matter of hours, catching residents off guard.
This is why in an evacuation zone, it is important to get constant forecast updates from meteorologists.
Storm surge can flood roads well ahead of the storm
It is important to evacuate an area well before the arrival of the storm.
Storm surge can begin well ahead of the worst of a hurricane, resulting in roadways being flooded and some neighborhoods completely cut off.
At least 2 routes
With the threat of flooding in evacuation zones, it is important to have two different routes to evacuate.
Having two routes will guarantee success if completely exiting an evacuation zone.
It is also helpful to avoid significant traffic jams if a second route is available.
Heed evacuation warnings
The most important tip is to evacuate if asked by emergency managers.
An evacuation is ordered when emergency managers, in consultation with meteorologists, think that life-threatening situations are very possible.
Leaving an evacuation area gives residents the best chance to ride out the storm successfully and with less stress like water pouring into a home, or having a medical emergency with no help available.
If a major storm impacts the area again, evacuations for parts of the region will be likely. Using these tips will give you the most stress-free evacuation possible.