Hurricanes - Regarding Evacuations

About Evacuation Orders

Voluntary Evacuation Order:  When a voluntary evacuation order has been issued, threat to life and property may be a high probability. Evacuation is not required, but would be wise, particularly for residents with special needs, parents with small children, and the elderly.

Mandatory Evacuation Order:  When a mandatory evacuation order has been issued, imminent threat to life and property exists. Individuals MUST relocate and seek refuge in an inland, non-evacuation area.


Before the Storm

Every resident in the Aston should be prepared to be self-sufficient for the five days after a major storm.  Immediately after the storm property clean-up and recovery efforts will commence and we ask that residents ensure that they are not impeding Staff from providing a quick response. If you are in a situation where you will have special needs, you must have a Preparedness Plan in place and have someone to rely on who can be focused on your needs.  Because of liability reasons, you should know that Aston Staff is not here to aide you in the event of a medical emergency or assist you with special physical or medical needs.

Individuals with Special Needs

If you have special needs or are caring for someone with special/medical needs, it is imperative that you prepare for a disaster well in advance. The following are important points to consider: 

  • Do you, or someone you take care of, require special medication in times of turmoil?  Have those stocked and ready, especially if these include oxygen, tube feeding, dialysis, or other life sustaining equipment?

  • Are you, or someone you take care of, physically impaired?  Will a wheelchair, walker, a special bed, or special toilet items be needed?  Consider that there may be critical electrical failure resulting from a damage to the elevators or back-up power system, whereby the stairs will be the only way to access upper-level floors.  If you, or someone you are taking care of, cannot go up or down stairs, you must make plans to shelter somewhere else.

  • Will you, or someone you take care of, require a special needs shelter?  If you have to evacuate, will you need transportation?  Do you have someone to take you?  If not, pre-arrange with a medical service or know what options you have?

  • Pre-registration for Special Medical Needs Shelters offered by the County is generally offered throughout the year. While this is not required, it is strongly encouraged to ensure that you make preparations so the shelter will be prepared to meet your needs if you must evacuate. Contact the Countyfor more information by dialing 311.

Evacuation Tips:  Have a Place to Go

If your family hurricane preparedness plan includes evacuation to a safer location, then it is important to consider the following points:

  • If ordered to evacuate, do not wait or delay your departure. If possible, leave before local officials issue an evacuation order for our area. Even a slight delay in starting your evacuation will result in significantly longer travel times as traffic congestion worsens.

  • If ordered to evacuate, know where you are going. Plan and practice exit routes from our home. Keep at least a half tank of gas in your car at all times during the storm season. Take your disaster supply kit with you.

  • If you decide to evacuate to another county or region, be prepared to wait in traffic. The large number of people in this state who must evacuate during a hurricane will probably cause massive delays and major congestion along most designated evacuation routes; the larger the storm, the greater the probability of traffic jams and extended travel times. If possible, make arrangements to stay with a friend or relative who resides closest to your home and who will not have to evacuate. Discuss with your intended host the details of your family evacuation plan well before the beginning of the hurricane season.

  • If a hotel or motel is your final intended destination during an evacuation, make reservations before you leave. Most hotel and motels will fill quickly once evacuations begin. The longer you wait to make reservations, even if an official evacuation order has not been issued for our area, the less likely you are to find hotel/motel room vacancies, especially along interstate highways.

  • If you are unable to stay with friends or family and no hotels/motels rooms are available, then consider evacuating to a shelter. Remember, shelters are not designed for comfort and do not usually accept pets.  If you have a pet, know which pet-friendly shelters are available. Bring your disaster supply kit with you to the shelter.