Stay Tuned to Learn How to Evacuate
You may need to leave your home or area (evacuate) or go to an emergency shelter or a community reception center. Stay inside where you are until an evacuation order is given. Stay tuned until officials tell you that your area is evacuating.
Locating family or friends
- Normal lines of communication may not work. For more information see Ways to Stay Tuned
- The American Red Cross has developed a "Safe and Well" website to let people within a disaster area to let their friends and loved ones outside of the affected region know of their well-being. http://www.redcross.org/
- For more information on locating family or friends after a disaster, visit http://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness/plan/
When to Evacuate
- Each situation will be different. Emergency officials consider many factors to make sure that it is safe to evacuate. Evacuation decisions will be based on wind speed and direction, the size and extent of the disaster, the radiation levels, and whether or not roads and structures are damaged.
- Emergency officials will tell you when to go to an emergency shelter, where the shelter is located, and the safest route for travel. Act quickly and follow instructions. Each situation will be different, and emergency officials will give you the best information to protect yourself and your loved ones.
- Turn off the air conditioner, heater, or ventilation system to your house and close and lock all windows and doors before you leave, if you have time.
- If evacuating by car, keep the windows closed and the ventilation system turned off.
- Local emergency officials have plans to help those who do not have access to transportation. Transportation will be provided to evacuate people from dangerous areas.
Stay Tuned for Information on Shelters
Shelters will be available for people who have been instructed to evacuate. Local authorities will tell you when to go to an emergency shelter, where the shelter is located, and the safest route for travel.
- Shelters will be located away from areas with high levels of radiation.
- If you are evacuating to a shelter, the shelter will provide water, food, medicine, and basic sanitary facilities. You should bring any medicines and prescriptions that you are taking, important papers, and a change of clothes. Emergency coordinators will tell you about any other supplies you should bring with you.
Evacuating with Pets
- Listen for instructions and information on pet evacuation and the location of available pet shelters.
- Pets will not be allowed into any shelter until they have been washed to remove radioactive material.
- For instructions on washing pets:
- If evacuating with a pet, bring a cage, leash, food, medication, and veterinary records, including immunization records.
Returning home after evacuation
- Do not return until you are told it is safe to do so by authorities. Attempting to return before it is safe puts you and your family in danger, and keeps emergency responders from doing their jobs safely.
- Radiation experts and emergency officials will determine the location and amount of radioactive contamination.
- Responders will take air, soil, food, and water samples in the affected area to find areas with dangerous levels of radiation.
- Unsafe areas will be closed to non-emergency responders.
- A cleanup plan will be developed, and will include input from the community, radiation experts, and emergency officials.
- Emergency officials will provide updates on the cleanup efforts as they become available.
- Page last reviewed: April 4, 2018
- Page last updated: October 10, 2014
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