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Plan & Prepare

Protective Actions: Evacuation

What does it mean to Evacuate?

To Evacuate means to leave your home or workplace during an emergency, and follow an Evacuation Route to a safe shelter .

Before and while Evacuating you should listen to your local radio or TV stations for the latest updates.

Emergency management officials will use radio and TV broadcasts, including Emergency Alert System messages, to give you further instructions.

This may include information on your nearest Evacuation Route , and your nearest public shelter. If you do not have access to a car, broadcast information should let you know about the bus or other transit routes that will be made available to you.

How will I know if it is time to Evacuate?

Your local, county or State emergency management officials will notify your neighborhood of the need to Evacuate or take other Protective Actions.

They will do this via Emergency Alert System messages on local radio and TV. They may also alert entire areas via via community notification systems such as “Reverse 911,” which sends messages to home telephones. Officials may even travel with bullhorns in certain areas.

Remember: Your single greatest information source before, during and after an emergency will be your battery-powered radio.

 If you are unable to listen to the radio or believe you may miss these messages, make arrangements with someone in your neighborhood. Make sure someone will reach out to you, to keep you informed.

Also remember:

  • Generally speaking, Sheltering-in-Place, not Evacuation, is the first step you should take during most emergencies.
  • If an emergency is taking place and you are unsure what to do, first Shelter-in-Place. Then listen to the radio for instructions from emergency management officials.
  • If your local, county or State emergency management officials direct you to evacuate, take that order seriously and ACT IMMEDIATELY.
  • You should learn the details of your workplace’s or business’ Emergency Plan. Your business may have a robust plan that includes plans to notify family members, Evacuate and Shelter-in-Place. To learn how to your business can create a plan, visit NJOEM’s “For Business & Industry” page.

How do I Evacuate?

Have you created your Emergency Supply Kit, including key items to bring with you and a battery-powered radio? Go to the NJOEM Basic Preparedness page and follow the Three Steps to Safety.

Follow these link to create your Evacuation Plan:

Further Information?

Follow this link if you have Disabilities or other Special Needs.Individuals with special needs often require additional time and assistance to prepare for a disaster.

Follow this link if you have Pets other than Americans with Disabilities Act assistance animals. Public shelters cannot accept pets, so you must plan accordingly.

Follow this link to learn about the other Protective Actions you may be directed to take during an emergency.

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New Jersey Office of Emergency Management
P. O. Box 7068
Trenton, NJ 08628


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