Should I stay or leave? We recommend the following steps in making an evacuation decision:
If you live east of I-95 be prepared toLEAVE:
The areas east of I-95 are considered the primary Hurricane Evacuation Zone.
If you live anywhere in a mobile or manufactured home be prepared toLEAVE:
Mobile homes, manufactured homes and modular homes must be evacuated for any hurricane countywide, (even if you are inland, have tie downs, etc.). These buildings WILL NOT withstand hurricane conditions or wind-borne debris of any force. Most wind related fatalities are in mobile and manufacture homes.
If you live west of I-95 in a sturdy home considerSTAYING.
REMEMBER TO LET A RELATIVE OR FRIEND KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND HAVE OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS CONTACT THEM FOR INFO ON YOUR SITUATION. Designate one person who lives out of the region as your family contact person and let everyone know to contact them.
Tips if you plan to stay:
It is extremely important to have an emergency plan BEFORE a storm threatens. Make your plan NOW. Only plan to ride out the storm IF you live outside the evacuation zone and live in a sturdy well built home. Riding out the storm inland is far safer than being caught in your vehicle in hurricane conditions.
Prepare your home: If possible board up or shutter windows and brace garage doors. Make sure you have your hurricane supply kit ready.
Designate a safe room to ride out the storm: This room can be a small interior closet, bathroom, or any room in the interior of your home without windows. This is where you will go to ride out the worst part of the storm. Have a mattress or pillows handy to shield your family should conditions become severe.
What if I fail to evacuate: Every person who has defied an evacuation order and rode out a storm in an evacuation zone all said that they would NEVER do it again. You place your own life at risk.
High-rise buildings are especially at risk because hurricane winds are much stronger with height. Winds at ground level blowing at 100 mph may be near 160 mph at the 4th or 5th floors. Plus you may become isolated and help will not be able to reach you.
Persons who fail to evacuate may also face extended periods of time when help will not be available due to isolation. People who do not evacuate when ordered are also in violation of the law.