Evacuation Q & A
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- Who issues Evacuation Orders?
- The Dare County Control Group is comprised of the Mayors of the Municipalities, the Sheriff, the Superintendent of the National Park Service, and the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners.
- Who makes the decision to Evacuate?
- The Dare County Control Group determines evacuation decisions.
- Can I come into the county to secure my property?
- Evacuation Orders are given in plenty of time for non-resident property owners to travel to Dare County, secure their property and then leave.
- Do we have to leave during an evacuation?
- Yes, you are required to leave. The evacuation order is given for the safety and well-being of the public.
- Can I give you my family's name and information on where we're going for relatives whom may
call looking for me?
- No, this information should be arranged with a close friend or relative outside of Dare County where the potential for loss of phone service is not as great.
- What if I don't chose to leave?
- A hurricane on the Outer Banks will most likely cause loss of utilities. Roads will not be passable for extended periods of time and damage to buildings can be expected. Persons remaining here will have to survive on their own for at least 1 week and emergency services may not be available.
- What does Mandatory Evacuation mean?
- The Dare County Control Group issues a mandatory evacuation when projected storm conditions are predicted to cause the interruption of public safety response, loss of utilities, closure of roads from high winds / water, and threaten the safety of the population in the path of the storm.
- Does a Mandatory Evacuation mean you have to leave?
- Yes - the decision to evacuate is for the best interest for the safety and well-being of the public. Mandatory evacuations are issued for your safety and the safety of emergency personnel. You should leave as quickly as possible upon receiving the evacuation order. Evacuation routes will become severely congested during evacuations. Decrease the amount of time you spend in traffic by leaving sooner than later.
- Will I be forced to leave and what are the consequences beyond the obvious if we don't?
- A Declaration of a State of Emergency is declared preceding the Mandatory Evacuation Order. This allows Law Enforcement officials to remove persons from high risk areas; oceanfront, trailer parks, and demonstrated low lying areas. Public Safety Officials will not risk the lives of their personnel responding to emergency calls during the storm.
- Do we really need to leave Hatteras Island?
- Yes. Due to the fragile infrastructure of roadways and bridges to and from Hatteras Island, evacuation is necessary. Evacuation decisions are made for the safety of the population at risk. When evacuation orders are issued you should do so.
- What happens if I decide to stay?
- Anyone that does not heed the Evacuation Order must recognize that Public Safety and Emergency Services (fire, police, EMS) may not be available. Utilities (power, water, telephone) could be damaged and not available for extended periods of time and high winds and water could isolate them for long periods of time.
- Will I be arrested if I don't leave?
- No. However, law enforcement will make every attempt to move people in areas that are likely to be most affected by the storm. Visitors are required by leaseholder contracts to vacate vacation rentals and hotels. Property owners will begin turning off power and water to properties in an effort to secure them during the storm.
- Why do I have to leave?
- Evacuation is in the best interest of the public. When the evacuation order is given people should leave as quickly as possible. There is no reason to risk your safety and the safety of others by staying.
- Where should I go?
- Evacuation Routes and Maps
- What is the safest evacuation route in relation to the area in which they are staying?
- Hatteras Island should use 64 west to I-95.
North of Whalebone should use 158 north to I-64.
- How far must I go when there is an evacuation?
- As far as it takes to ensure you and your family's safety. Keep a close watch on weather reports and expected storm tracks. Every situation is different and at times evacuation may occur even in inland areas.
- Which is the fastest way off the Outer Banks?
- Evacuation signs have been posted and law enforcement will assist motorists along the evacuation routes once the evacuation order has been announced. The sooner you evacuate, the less time you will spend in traffic. The Outer Banks has limited roadways and they will become congested during an evacuation. Limit your time in traffic by leaving as soon as possible.
- Will EMS and Fire stations be open?
- As the storm approaches with high winds and water, EMS and fire personnel will be limited, and if winds exceed 60 mph, emergency personnel will not risk their personal safety during the storm.
- Will doctors and medical facilities be open?
- All medical facilities will be closed.