If an evacuation is necessary
If evacuation is necessary, for any type of Natural or Man-Made Emergency, Public Safety Officials may alert you by one or several methods. Learn what methods are utilized in your community. They could include:
- Outdoor sirens or horns.
- The Emergency Alert System (EAS) - information provided on the radio and television.
- NOAA Weather Alert Radio.
- 'All Call' or 'Reverse 911' - an automated telephoning system for sending recorded messages.
- Mass.Gov Citizen Alert
- Commercial News Media.
- Residential Route Alerting, which dispatches Public Safety vehicles through neighborhoods announcing messages with Public Address systems.
- U.S. Coast Guard Marine Broadcast.
- A message on Teletypewriters (TTY).
Do not evacuate unless directed to do so by Public Safety Officials.
Planning for evacuation
- Ask your local Emergency Management Office about community evacuation plans.
- Learn proposed evacuation routes and locations of public shelters.
- If you do not have personal transportation, make arrangements with friends or your local government.
- Develop a Family Communications Plan .
- Make a plan with family members for a destination if you have to leave your community. In your planning, consider different scales of evacuation - neighborhood, town, county, etc.
- Assemble a Disaster Supply Kit .
- Keep your car fueled if evacuation seems likely. Gas stations may be closed during an emergency, or unable to pump gas during power outages.
- Know how to shut off your home's electricity, gas and water supplies at main switches and valves.
What to do if asked/told to evacuate
- Gather all persons in the house together.
- Do not pick up children at their schools, unless instructed to do so. In many cases (particularly a Nuclear Emergency Plant event), they will be taken to designated host schools outside the area where you may pick them up later.
- Household members outside the area may be advised not to return during an evacuation. They may be directed to a reception center or mass care shelter where you can join them.
- Do not call your local fire or police departments for information. Emergency workers will need their lines for emergency use. If you need special help, call your local Emergency Management Office .
- Stay tuned to your Emergency Alert System radio station.
- Turn off lights and unnecessary appliances.
- If a hard freeze is likely during your absence, take actions needed to prevent damage to water pipes, such as turning off the water main, draining faucets, turning off inside valves for external faucets and opening outside faucets to drain.
- Close and lock windows and doors.
- Check with neighbors to see if they need assistance. Offer to share transportation.
- Let others know where you are going.
- If you need a ride, try to get one with neighbors or contact your local Emergency Management Office .
- If you have livestock, shelter them. Leave them at least a three-day supply of stored feed and water that has been protected from possible contamination.
How to travel
- Depending on the emergency, while traveling in the car, keep all windows and vents closed until out of the affected area. (Nuclear or Hazardous Materials Emergency)
- Keep the car radio tuned to an Emergency Alert System station.
- Be aware of designated evacuation routes.
What to take with you
Essential items only. You may be away from home for a few hours to a few days.
- Clothing for several days.
- Toilet articles (Soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.)
- Prescription medicines, medical equipment and important medical records.
- Special dietary foods.
- Baby supplies.
- Blankets, pillows, and towels (if you plan on staying at a Public Mass Care Shelter).
- Identification and important papers.
- Checkbook, credit card and cash.
About your pets
- Only seeing-eye dogs and other service animals will be allowed inside reception centers and mass care shelters.
- Make plans ahead of time to take your pet to stay at relatives, friends or a kennel outside the affected area.
- Know pet-friendly hotels and motels.
- Prepare an emergency kit for your pets; include collars & leashes, a three-day supply of food, bowls, litter boxes, photographs, and a week's supply of medications that your pet may be taking.
- Make sure your pets wear collars with current license and rabies tags, and identification tags that include information on where you will be staying during the emergency.
- Use a pet carrier for each of your pets to make transportation easier.