Deciding whether to evacuate or shelter in place depends upon the incident or event occurring. There are various natural and man-made hazards that could happen in this area, such as floods, extreme heat, tropical cyclones, hazardous material spills, and pandemic diseases, just to name a few. Each of these requires careful thought and planning. The first step is to know your risks and personal needs.
For weather events that may result in evacuations being ordered, you need to know your evacuation zone. Does your neighborhood flood during heavy rains? Do you require electricity for medical equipment/conditions? As you evaluate your risks, you will be better informed on where to shelter. Sheltering with family, friends or even in a hotel will be more comfortable than a shelter, but we will open shelters for tropical storm/hurricane events. If Emergency Management orders your Zone to evacuate, you need to leave the area for your safety.
For hazardous material spills or heavy smoke from a wildfire in the area, sheltering in place may be the appropriate choice. Tune into the news or social media sites to get instructions from officials. During extreme heat waves, if you do not have air conditioning, seek shelter in a shopping mall and stay hydrated.
Having a plan for what you will do in events like these will allow you to prepare in advance, rather than react and panic. Emergency Management has list of hazards and a Family Emergency Plan on our website www.LeeEOC.com.