Evacuation Plans

Preparing to evacuate: American Red Cross Suggests Emergency Bag Include

1. All required medications and medical support equipment (two-week supply):

- Wheelchair/walker, oxygen, dressings, feeding & suction equipment, diapers, etc.

- Any specific medication or care instructions

- Name and phone number of physician/home health care agency/hospital where you receive care

2. Special dietary needs: any specific foods necessary to meet health requirements, including diabetes, food allergies, etc. (three-day supply per person).

3. Food and liquids: non-perishable food and drinks, including formula and baby food (three-day supply per person).

4. Sleeping gear: pillow, blanket, portable cot, folding beach lounge chair, and/or sleeping bag for each person. Evacuation shelters tend to be cold, so bring a blanket or sweater to keep warm. Cots or beds are not provided in short-term (i.e., several days) evacuation shelters.

5. Important papers: wills, deeds, licenses, insurance policies, home inventory, doctor’s orders, do not resuscitate, living wills, etc.

6. Identification: with photo and current address and medical identification cards.

7. Cash: check cashing and credit card services may not be available for several days after a disaster. However, please remember, there will not be a place to secure money or valuables at an evacuation shelter.

8. Comfort items: small games, cards, diapers, books, batteries, flash light, first aid kit, manual can opener, etc.

9. Personal hygiene items: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, towels, brush/comb, dentures, glasses, eye drops, hearing aids and batteries, etc.

10. Extra clothing: a one-week supply of comfortable clothing and extra sets of underwear and socks.

Pets are often not allowed in Evacuation Centers (except service animals). Please contact your county’s Department of Emergency Management to learn where pet-friendly shelters are located before a disaster happens.


  • The Red Cross recommends making evacuation plans that include staying with family or friends that are out of the path of the storm, but within reasonable driving distance
  • The Red Cross and local emergency management teams open shelters on an incident-specific bases
  • Never go to a shelter unless local officials have announced it is open
  • Shelters are typically opened in areas that are forecasted to be less affected or are better suited for flooding
  • Shelters open around the time a hurricane watch is issued
  • Check local (county/city) emergency management website, Red Cross Emergency App,

Evacuating with Pets:

  • Public Red Cross shelters DO NOT accept pets (service animals are accepted) due to health and sanitation concerns
  • Some counties have shelters that allow pets, but they are usually limited
  • Items you will need to be admitted with your pet to a pet friendly public shelter; current rabies vaccination certificate, leash and collar, county animal license, crate or cage, food, cleaning supplies, medications, comfort items for your pet
  • Find Pet Friendly Hotels using these sites:

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