Hurricane Evacuation Tips for Parents With Young Children

Updated June 4, 2020

Is your family ready for the next storm that could potentially threaten Louisiana? 

Hurricane season lasts from June 1 through November 30. And this year’s preparation will look very different due to COVID-19.

According to the city’s Nola Ready website, “if the City issues a mandatory evacuation, all residents and visitors must leave. If an evacuation is not ordered, it’s up to you to decide to evacuate or shelter in place.”

Here are 10 tips to consider when making your family’s hurricane safety plan:

Have a family plan in place.
If you are unsure where to start with your plans, use resources like NOLA READY or these tips from the National Hurricane Center. Try to figure out ahead of time where your “safety” places are – do you have family in another state? Ask them ahead of time if you can seek shelter with them prior to a storm. 

Download an app.
Consider downloading a special app to handle, planning, evacuation, and organization needs. Here are some apps to consider:
Hurricane Tracker, Hurricane Pro, Red Cross Hurricane, or sign-up for emergency updates from the City of New Orleans.

Build a family readiness kit.
Ask older children to help make a list of what they want to bring if a mandatory evacuation is announced. Does your child have a special blanket or do you have a photo of your grandparents that is irreplaceable? Make sure these items are easy to pack and that you do not have to spend time looking for them. 

Monitor data overload.
Constant impending storm coverage can be overwhelming, causing anxiety, especially in younger children. Turn off the television from the wall-to-wall storm coverage  and only check updates as needed. This is good for both adults and children!

Evacuate early.
The Mayor will issue a mandatory evacuation at least 72 hours before a storm is expected to make landfall. If possible, get a jump-start on evacuation earlier so you do not have to sit in traffic and ensure you can find lodging (if needed).

Plan what to bring.
Make sure you pack a 3-day supply of items like: diaper and wipes, hand sanitizer, jars of food, powdered formula, dry cereal, prepackaged foods, prescriptions, and over-the-counter medications, toiletries, toilet paper, paper towels, canned goods (and can opener), etc. Anything your family will need to survive for up to 3 days – bring it! But remember, once you reach your final destination, you should be able to restock on items you forgot or were not deemed a necessity at the time.

Packing the important things.
Ensure that you pack important documents that you might need while evacuating, such as: copies of health insurance cards for each family member, immunization records, birth certificates, social security cards, a list of your family’s medical history, and insurance documents for your property. Write down a list ahead of time of the documents you plan to bring and where they are located in your house so you do not have to scramble to locate items at the last minute.

Don’t forget!
Write down your child’s pediatrician’s information and other medical emergency numbers that you might need while away. Plan ahead and refill any prescriptions you will need while evacuating. If it’s not time for your re-fill, remember to bring the prescription with you so you can re-fill if your evacuation goes longer than expected.

While away.
As much as possible, stick to a schedule. Try to keep your children’s routines similar to the one you have set at home. This will help them acclimate when you return home.

Download the Nola Ready Guide to Hurricane today to make sure you are prepared for the next Tropical Depression or Hurricane that threatens the city. 



Sources: Louisiana Public Health Institute, Dr. Michael Wasserman, Dr. Jason Wuttke, and The Parenting Center at Children’s Hospital.

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