Shelter or Community Evacuation Guide To Individuals And Families

Are you aware of your feelings right now? It is okay to feel angry, mad, and/or sad! Understand your feelings, especially around children and teens, as you proceed with the following actions:

Things to Know "Before" a Shelter Stay or Emergency Community Evacuation

  1. Do you know what your local or community news source is suggesting?
  2. Do you know whether your state is under a state of emergency?
  3. Do you know whether your community has been told to evacuate or prepare to evacuate?
  4. Write emergency information on your arm with a Sharpie pen.
  5. Do you have nearby building structures that are old and vacant?
  6. Do you have nearby trees that are old and leaning?
  7. Do you have a full tank of gas in your vehicle?
  8. Do you know your child's school's emergency plan?
  9. Do you know whether water is surrounding your vehicle, during evacuation? If so, abandon the vehicle immediately. Be careful while walking to higher ground or non-flooded area.
  10. If applicable, do you have your pet's disaster-relief supplies and kit?

"During" a Shelter Stay or Community Evacuation and Formal Services

  1. Bank transactions. If you need money from your local bank and it is temporarily closed, go to any bank's ATM.
  2. Bank transactions. If you need money and have your ATM card, go to a nearby store or company and choose the withdrawal and amount option along with completing your total purchase. If you receive a service fee for choosing to withdrawal from another bank's ATM or at a store/company, you can call your bank to see if they would be willing to give you a "fee waiver" due to an emergency evacuation within your community during an hurricane. You may also go to a nearby branch location of your bank and request the fee waiver; it is up to each branch whether to grant such a fee-waiver request.
  3. Your mail service. If you are not able to return to your dwelling place, you may want to go to a nearby Post Office and change your address (Avoid choosing "temporary move" box unless you are sure you will be returning to your dwelling place in days vs. weeks; you can change with the postal service later when you don't have so many things to decide on or do.). If you need a mailing address, ask the nearest postal service for their general delivery mailing address. It is best to use the postal service whenever possible, vs. family and friends.  A postal office can hold your mail for you for a certain amount of days, also. Click now if you are ready to change your mailing address.
  4. Gather formal documents again.  If necessary, you will need to obtain formal documents again (example, Social Security cards, birth certificate, divorce decree, voter registration card, drivers license, insurance cards, medical cards, work certification IDs, school IDs, school diplomas, school award letters, training certifications, and any benefit award letters).
  5. Enrollment of School-age Children. When there is an emergency community evacuation, storm-victims are considered either temporary homeless or homeless. Your child(ren) have the right to attend a community school. Now would not be a good time to home-school because you will have agency errands and appointments to get family self-sufficiency assistance.  Visit schools where you will be staying, and choose a school that is best for the needs of your child(ren). Do not allow your child to be the only ethnicity of a race in a classroom if you believe it will cause behavioral or other harm. Explain to your child family actions and activities at this time. Children are human beings, too. They would rather discuss such topics with you instead of overhearing such conversations.
  6. Paying Bills. Contact all companies and explain your situation and make payment arrangements if necessary. They may need to see formal ID to see if you reside in the affected community--they may be familiar with the real-time situation and may have payment solutions such as late-fee waivers, etc. It is up to you to make sure late fees, etc., will not cause your credit harm no matter any advice or solution given.
  7. Family Self Sufficiency. Overall, the goal is for your family to have a safe, affordable, and consistent dwelling place to live right now. If you have children, this goal must be achieved so that your children will no longer have homeless status on their school records. This goal must be achieved so that your child(ren) will not be temporarily placed in foster care or displaced from you. You do not want your children to live with someone else simply because of lacking adequate shelter or dwelling space for your family. *Shelters are a solution to avoid not having a formal address for your family. Many family shelters are limited and are female-and-family based, or require you to reside at the shelter for a certain number of months.

Formal or Valid Form of Identification of Proof of Temporary or Current Address

  • Temporary government or employer-issued identification card
  • Temporary Student identification card
  • Temporary or current lease or rental agreement
  • Utility, telephone, credit card, or bank statement with temporary or current address
  • Pay stub issued within the past 30 days
  • First-class mail postmarked with temporary or current address within the past 30 days.


"After" a Shelter Stay or Emergency Community Evacuation

  1. Do you know whether you must boil your water?
  2. Do you know whether to expect flooding or additional flooding?
  3. Do you know whether food has been on the counter for more than two hours?
  4. Do you have any chlorine bleach? white vinegar and baking soda?
  5. If your stove is working, do you own a charcoal grill?
  6. If your refrigerator isn't working, do you have at least 25 lbs of dry ice?
  7. Do you still have or need to restock your family's disaster kit?
  8. Do you need to go to the store? Water? Formula?
  9. Do you know if your street has flooded out?
  10. Do you know whether mud is a concern in your local community?
  11. Do you smell gas nearby? Do you hear a hissing or blowing sound?
  12. Do you have floodwater coming into your unique homestyle? Have local, state, or federal authorities considered your homestyle to be unsafe?
  13. Do you know whether any animals have entered inside of your unique homestyle? Do not approach wild animals. Do not attempt to remove or touch a dead animal. If so, call your local wildlife control office.
  14. Do you see any sparks, broken, or frayed wires?
  15. Do you know whether sewage lines are intact before flushing your toilet?
  16. Do you see any buckling of walls anywhere?
  17. Do you know whether your kitchen cabinets are secure?
  18. Is there rust on indoors electric outlets, not the electric covers? Each outlet should have an electric cover.
  19. Request a copy of your credit report after your safe from the evacuation or relocation to a new dwelling place has been achieved.

Family Disaster Relief Plan and Kit

  1. Do you have important documents stored in a waterproof container?
  2. Do you have plastic grocery bags? to place over your luggage, etc.?
  3. Do you have canned goods on hand that are not swollen, dented, or corroded?
  4. Do you have batteries on hand that are not swollen, dented, or corroded?
  5. Have you charged your cell phone? Do you have your cell phone's charger?
  6. Do you have your family's kit-items in a duffel bag or backpack? Is it too heavy to carry?
  7. Do you have a sturdy stick for each household member? You may have to use stick to walk in floodwaters.


Weather Emergency Management Agency (WEMA) Office

The Sherlene Brand | Maryland, USA®

Copyright 2018 - 2020 Sherlene® All Rights Reserved.