Hurricane Irma Evacuation Tips for Families

Hurricane Irma: Things to remember when evacuating with the family

If you are planning to evacuate today with your family, take advantage of FL511.com for real-time traffic updates. I-75 NB isn’t the best option since traffic slows down once you hit the Bushnell area and continues to be slow until you cross the state border. One of the best north routes we’ve seen out of the area is the Suncoast Parkway to US-98/US-19.

Find a shelter near you here: floridadisaster.org

A few things to remember:

  • Before you leave, take a video of your home and narrate your belonging– email that video to yourself or upload to the cloud. This is good to have regardless of whether a storm is approaching.
  • If you leave, plan to be at your destintation by Saturday afternoon at the absolute latest.
  • When evacuating, make sure you take your family’s emergency kit and important documents, including your child’s immunization records. Have enough food and water for everyone in the car for the trip.
  • Be patient. As Governor Scott said, evacuations are not meant to be convenient, they are meant to keep you safe.
  • Evacuate tens of miles instead of hundreds of miles. If you can find a safe place to stay closer to home with friends, family or a shelter, that is the best option.
  • Worried about having enough gas? Gas stations along the evacuation routes are being refueled as quickly as possible–fuel tankers are getting police escorts to get to the stations in need of fuel. GasBuddy.com is a great way to find gas nearby, but it’s a crowdsourced app, so it takes people to keep the app updated.
  • Drive safely and buckle up. FHP says four deaths related to Tropical Storm Fay were the result of motorists not buckling up. This includes making sure your child is properly restrained in their car seat or booster seat.
  • Bring plenty of activities for the kids for the road and for when you get to your destination. Let them pick out a few small items at the store before you leave or bring items from home. Some of our favorite items: Play-Doh, crayons and coloring books, books, and a simple sheet is one of our favorite items to use at your final destination so they can build forts!
  • Talk to your kids. They often pick up on the nervous energy. ABC Action News has these great tips on how to start the conversation and keep kids calm.
  • Stay safe and stick together. We are all in this together and we are #FloridaStrong!

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