Tips to Prepare for Evacuations

B SpotAs wicked weather continues to roll through New Jersey, heavy rains have the potential to cause flooding in parts of the Garden State. If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, you should be prepared to evacuate quickly if necessary.

Take the following steps to prepare:

  • Put your emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle. If you are being picked up or leaving on foot, put it by the door from which you normally exit your home.
  • Carry what you can, selecting the items you think you will need for a prolonged stay away from home.
  • Have at lease half a tank of gas in your vehicle.
  • Leave natural gas on, unless local officials advise you otherwise.
  • Turn off propane gas service valves.
  • Remove potential hazards in trees around your property that could blow or break off and fly around in strong winds.
  • Secure outside objects such as garbage cans and lawn furniture, or bring them inside.
  • Shut off fuel lines and/or turn off bottled propane at the tanks. DO NOT disconnect, a professional would need to reconnect your gas service.

If you are ordered to evacuate:

  • Leave as soon as possible, preferably in daylight.
  • Listen to local radio or television station and follow the instruction of local emergency officials.
  • Carry what you can, selecting the items most essential to your health and safety.
  • If advised by authorities, turn off electricity at the main fuse or breaker and turn off water at the main value.
  • Unplug electronic devices and turn off all utilities except the natural gas, unless advised otherwise.
  • Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and sturdy shoes.
  • Secure your home as you normally would when leaving for an extended period, shutting and locking doors and windows. Close and secure hurricane shutters if you have them.
  • Use travel routes specified by local officials.
  • Get in touch with your out-of-area contact person and let them know where you’re going and when you expect to get there.

If you have disabilities or special needs, you can cope with disaster by preparing in advance. Plan according to your needs during a disaster situation. If possible, evacuate to the home of a family member or friend. If this is not possible, evacuate to an emergency shelter and DSC05523ediscuss your needs with the shelter manager upon arrival. Register with the State of New Jersey Office of Emergency Management’s Register Ready if you have not already done so.

EMERGENCY APP The FREE Red Cross Emergency App puts vital information at your fingertips. With more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts the app gives you real-time information to help keep you and your loved ones safe. The app contains information on what you can do before, during and after emergencies to help keep families safe. Whether it’s flooding, power outages or severe storms, the Emergency App keeps you in the know and prepared to respond.

The app is available in English and Spanish in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or at redcross.org/apps.

For more information about flood safety, visit redcross.org/prepare.

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