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Hurricane Preparedness Week: Evacuation routes

Published: May. 5, 2022 at 1:18 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - As hurricane preparedness week continues, it’s time to start thinking about where you would go if you were forced to leave your home during a hurricane.

The decision to evacuate during a hurricane varies from person to person, and family to family.

Put frankly, what’s good for the goose isn’t good for the gander in these cases.

Barrier islands will issue mandatory evacuations, but for others, the decision to leave is optional. Knowing what’s at risk along with the needs of you and your family are vital, and should be weighed accordingly.

But planning for the worst ahead of time will help make the choice to leave a little easier.

Most hurricanes approach the Cape Fear Region from the south, so a good rule of thumb: west is best.

Evacuating to a location like Raleigh or Charlotte is usually good ideas.

I-40, highways 74 & 76 are great routes.

Storms that approach from the east, like Florence, Isabel, Fran, and Hugo require a different plan.

A north and south option is best in this case. Highways 17, and 421 are good ways to go. Highway 701 and I-95 are good, too, if you live inland.

Some other useful tips:

Draft a couple ways to get from Point A to Point B, in case your primary route is flooded, damaged or clogged with traffic.

Highlight those routes on a paper map. Yes, they still make these, and you better believe they’re a great backup in the event cellular service is disrupted.

Finally, give yourself a timeline along with plenty of lead time to make your decision.

The longer you wait, the harder it may be to get out of town.

If you have family and friends in the direction you’re heading, reach out and see if they’re able or willing to accommodate you, and your pets, if necessary.

It’s not a situation anyone wants to think about, but a little planning ahead of time will save you lots of trouble down the road.

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