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Evacuate or Stay Put?

Woman with her children fleeing on foot with bags and suitcases along a sidewalk

East Grand Forks, Minnesota, April 8, 1997 Taking only what they can carry, residents begin evacuation of East Grand Forks. Within 24 hours these streets will be filled with floodwaters. (FEMA/Saville)

Start by sizing up your situation. Listen to the local authorities via your local radio or television and follow their guidance. Has your area been asked to evacuate? If so, follow the evacuation route provided. Trying to shortcut the traffic may endanger you.

If you have not been asked to evacuate, determine whether your home or work is safe. Is your structure secure and stable with all walls, ceiling, and floor sound? Is there any threat of hazards such as fire and flooding? Are the utilities controllable? If your home or workplace is not safe, you should move to more stable environment, weather conditions permitting.

  • Deciding to Stay or Go. has a good discussion about the decision factors to help you determine whether to stay or go.