Plan & Prepare
Protective Actions: Evacuation: Your Evacuation Plan
Your local and county emergency management officials have evacuation
plans for all hazards. Call your County
Office of Emergency Management or local Police Department and ask
about the plans for your area.
- If you live in a coastal area refer to the maps of New
Jersey's Coastal Evacuation Routes.
- But remember: Evacuation routes may change in the event
of an emergency.
- The latest and best information will be available from your
local officials. During emergencies, listen to a battery-powered
radio for their instructions.
If you do not drive, or do not have access to a car , buses or
other forms of transit will be made available to you.
Learn how to SAFELY shut off the utility services to your home ,
including water, electricity and natural gas.
- If your home is at risk of being damaged, shutting off
the utilities before you Evacuate will help prevent furtherdangers such
as flooding, fire or explosion.
If you have disabilities or other special needs , you might need
additional time to prepare for a disaster.
- Go to the NJOEM Special
Needs and Disabilities pagefor advice on how to
- Call your County
Office of Emergency Management or local Police Department
- Your municipality or county may have a Special Needs Registry
for Emergencies, and you may be listed on it. If not,
be sure your local and county Emergency Management and Police
officials keep a record of your name and address, and
the assistance you may need during an emergency.
Follow this link if you have Pets other
than ADA service animals. Public shelters cannot accept pets,
so you must plan accordingly.
When an evacuation is ordered in New Jersey , public shelters will
be available to provide food and a safe place to stay.
However, you should be aware that these shelters may not be able to
meet all dietary needs. They may not be able to provide the medical
care you may need. And they cannot take in pets, except ADA
During a major emergency, the best place to evacuate is with the comfort
of friends and family. If possible, make plans now to shelter with a
relative or friend who lives out-of-state in the event of a major emergency.
When it is Time to Evacuate:
- If PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICIALS order you to evacuate,
take that order seriously and act IMMEDIATELY. Leave as soon
- Bring your Emergency Kit and review your Emergency
- If possible, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and sturdy
shoes for maximum protection.
- Take your pets with you. Remember that pets (other
than service animals for people with disabilities) are not
permitted in emergency shelters. You must follow your
plan to go to a friend’s home or a pet-friendly hotel. Click
here for tips.
- Use travel routes specified by local authorities – don’t
use shortcuts because certain areas may be impassable or dangerous.
- If flooding is a danger: Avoid flooded roads and washed-out
bridges. Stay away from downed power lines.
- If your home is at risk of being damaged – AND you
are sure you’ll have TIME:
- Call your family contact to tell them where you
are going and when you expect to arrive.
- Shut off water and electricity before leaving, unless
local officials advise you to do otherwise.
- Shut off thenatural gas service to your home– but first be
sure you know how to do it SAFELY!
- If you can SMELL GAS :
- DO NOT attempt to shut off the natural gas service
to your home! The smell means there is a gas
leak, and attempting to shut off your service could
cause a spark and an explosion.
- If you DO NOT SMELL GAS :
- Use a wrench to shut off natural gas service to
your home at the main valve, unless local officials advise
you to do otherwise.
- If you are unable to do this, find the shutoff switch
for natural gas service your laundry drier, and
shut it off.
- ALWAYS REMEMBER:
- When you return to your home after an emergency,
DO NOT use candles, matches or other open flames indoors
until you know for certain that there is not a natural
gas leak inside the home. This could cause a deadly
- During flood emergencies, if time permits and you live
in an identified surge zone, elevate belongings or
move them to a higher floor to protect from flooding.
- Listen to local authorities. They will provide you with the most
accurate information specific to an event in your area. Stay tuned to
your battery-powered radio or TV.
A Note on MANDATORY vs. VOLUNTARY Evacuations
Emergency Management officials in New Jersey have the authority to direct Voluntary
Evacuations, or to order Mandatory Evacuations.
If you are told to evacuate, whether the order is Voluntary or Mandatory,
you should take that order seriously and act immediately.
The penalties for failing to comply with a Mandatory Evacuation Order
include possible fines or imprisonment.
Failure to follow a Mandatory Evacuation Order means placing your
life in severe danger. It also means stranding yourself in
an area that will most likely not have access to food, water or basic
services for an extended period of time.