Evacuate or Stay Put

Do I need to evacuate or stay put and shelter in place? That is an important question. And the answer depends on the type of disaster. Your local radio or TV stations can offer the answer you need.

Visit our Emergency Shelter page if you need to find a shelter near you.


Evacuations are more common than you might think. Fires and floods are the most frequent causes. Almost every year people along coastlines evacuate before hurricanes.

If an official government source advises you to evacuate, do so immediately. Only when there’s a serious threat to public safety is a mandatory evacuation ordered.

Get guidelines on how to evacuate your family and pets when time really matters. Learn what you should do if you need to leave quickly and what you can do if you have a little more time to plan. (Ready.gov)

Family Plan
Are you prepared to evacuate? Learn what to take with you if you need to leave fast as well as how to prepare ahead if time permits. Get tips on how to protect your home and valuables, and what supplies and papers you need to take with you. (State of Louisiana)

Preparing Your Evacuation Routes
Watch a short video that offers useful tips on how to prepare for an evacuation. Though intended for tsunamis, these tips can be helpful in any community for any disaster. Learn to be familiar with where you are; know the evacuation signs and what they mean; and know where you’re going. (State of Washington)

Stay Put and Shelter in Place

In some events, evacuating your home, work, or school can put you at greater risk. In these situations, you should shelter in place. The following resources can help you learn how to do it safely.

Stay Put - Learn How to Shelter in Place
Learn what shelter-in-place means and why it may be necessary. You can also get tips on how to shelter in place at home or in your vehicle. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Safe Generator Use
Learn things you need to know about how to use a generator safely. Get tips on how to buy a generator, how to use it at home, and why you should never use it indoors. (American Red Cross)

Last Updated: 09/14/2021