Evacuation Preparedness & Procedures

If evacuation is necessary for a hurricane, nuclear accident or other natural or man-made disaster, the key is that you and your family respond quickly and responsibly.

Being Alerted

State or Local Public Safety Officials may alert you by one or more methods. Learn what methods are utilized in your community. They could include:

  • Outdoor sirens or horns
  • The Emergency Alert System (EAS) - Information provided on the radio and television
  • NOAA Weather Alert Radio
  • 'Reverse 911' or 'Swift911'
  • Commercial news Media
  • Residential Route Alerting, which dispatches Public Safety vehicles through neighborhoods announcing messages with Public Address Systems or literally 'knocking on doors'
  • U.S. Coast Guard Marine Broadcast

Planning for Evacuation

  • Amesbury has community evacuation plans (PDF). Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) also has an interactive map you can use.
    • Learn proposed evacuation routes and locations of potential public shelters.
    • If you do not have personal transportation, make arrangements with friends or your local government.
  • Develop a Family Emergency Plan.
    • Make a plan with family members for a destination if you have to leave your community. (In your planning, consider different scales of evacuation, i.e.; neighborhood, city/town, county, etc.)
  • Assemble a Disaster Supply Kit (PDF), including Potassium Iodide (KI) tablets
  • Keep your car fueled if evacuation seems likely. Gas stations may be closed during an emergency, run out of fuel, or be unable to pump gas during power outages.
  • Pre-drill plywood to be able to board up windows.
  • Know how to shut off your home's electricity, gas, and water supplies as main switches and valves.

What to Do if Asked / Told to Evacuate

  • Gather all persons in the house together.
  • Elevate valuable items to higher points within your home.
  • Move all loose outdoor items indoors, (lawn furniture, hanging plants, trash cans, awnings, toys).
  • Household members outside the area may be advised not to return during an evacuation. They may be directed to a reception center or mass care shelter where you can join them.
  • Do not call your local fire or police departments for information. Emergency workers will need their lines for emergency use. If you need special help, call your local Emergency Management Office.
  • Stay tuned to your Emergency Alert System radio station.
  • Turn off lights and unnecessary appliances.
  • Close and lock windows and doors.
  • Check with neighbors to see if they need assistance. Offer to share transportation.
  • Let others know where you are going.
  • If you need a ride, try to get one with neighbors or contact your local Emergency Management Office (Amesbury Phone: 978-388-8155).

How to Travel

  • Keep the car radio tuned to an Emergency Alert System station.
  • Be aware of designated evacuation routes.

What to Take with You

  • Baby supplies
  • Blankets, pillows, and towels (particularly if you plan on staying at a Public Mass Care Shelter)
  • Checkbook, credit card, and cash
  • Clothing for several days
  • Essential items - You may be away from home for a few hours to a few days
  • Identification and important papers
  • Prescription medicines, medical equipment and important medical records
  • Special dietary foods
  • Toilet articles (soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.)

About Your Pets

  • Only seeing-eye dogs and other service animals will be allowed inside reception centers and mass care shelter, although SMART (The State of Massachusetts Animal Response Team) may be able to assist with animal sheltering accommodations.
  • Make plans ahead of time to take your pet to stay at relatives, friends or a kennel outside the affected area.
  • Know pet-friendly hotels and motels.
  • Prepare an emergency kit for your pets; include collars and leashes, a three-day supply of food, bowls, litter boxes, photographs, and a week's supply of medications that your pet may be taking.
  • Make sure your pets wear collars with current license and rabies tags, and identification tags that include information on where you will be staying during the emergency.
  • Use a pet carrier for each of your pets to make transportation easier.