Emergency evacuations are more common than you may realize. Natural disasters like fires and floods cause evacuations most frequently across the U.S. and almost every year, people along coastlines evacuate as hurricanes watches and warnings are issued.
In severe cases, local officials decide that the risks associated with an impending storm or natural threat are serious and require emergency evacuations. In others, evacuations are advised or individuals and families decide to evacuate to avoid situations they believe are potentially dangerous. The amount of time you have to prepare and ultimately leave will depend on the type of hazard. As an example, Florida residents know all-to-well that a hurricane may give you a day or two to get ready. However, many disasters like fires or floods allow no time for you to gather even your basic necessities, which is why preparedness is essential.
If an Evacuation is Recommended or Required
As mentioned above, there will be times where you are strongly urged to or required to evacuate. In these cases, you should have a plan in place to ensure everything is taken care of at home, and that you bring everything you need for an extended evacuation period.
Items to consider:
- Pets’ needs
- Family members who require special assistance
- Important documents to digitally store, and those which you will need to bring with you
- Money and credit cards
- Jewelry and other valuables
- Sentimental or un-replaceable items
- Food & water
- First aid kit
When an evacuation is the only option, make sure you have a written plan which is communicated with your family and other important people. Your plan should include where your family and supplies will go in different situations. Choosing several destinations/activities in different directions will provide you with plenty of options, no matter the situation.
What To Do In Case Of An Emergency Evacuation
Chances are if you live in Florida, you live in or near an evacuation zone. Be safe and prepare your home for the worst, but try not to stress yourself out too much. Once you leave it is out of your hands…find something fun and relaxing for you and your family to do. Here are five fun things you can do when a storm is heading your way.
Go see Mickey!
Believe it or not, Disney World and other theme parks will remain open as long as the storm isn’t headed in the direction of Central Florida. There is a good chance that the parks won’t be packed since out-of-town guests won’t be heading toward a storm! So, this means you can enjoy some Mickey time with your family.
Have a Mini Family Reunion
In most cases, one area of Florida will be under an evacuation advisory or emergency evacuation while another area is having sunny beach weather. If you are lucky enough to be on the opposite side of the storm, invite relatives and friends over who are forced to evacuate their homes. Some of your friends and family may not have anywhere to go. Have them over for a hurricane party and hunker down!
As mentioned above, a storm track rarely affects the entire state. Why not go camping? The state of Florida has many beautiful state and county parks everywhere. If you need to head inland, the Ocala National Forest has some excellent camping options covering 607 square miles of Central Florida.
If the storm misses South Florida and starts heading up one of the coasts, there is no telling where it will go. It most likely isn’t going to turn around, so head South for a couple days. The Everglades is always a fun and an educational trip for the kids.
If all else fails, outrun the storm and head North. Take a road trip and explore one our neighboring states. I recommend the mountains in North Georgia. It is beautiful no matter what time of the year…it is also where I got engaged! 🙂
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
Your homeowners or renters insurance most likely does not cover flood! Contact us to learn more about proactive flood damage protection, the national vs. private flood insurance programs, or to receive a no-hassle quote.