Survey: half of Ga. residents unsure of evacuation route

TAMPA (WTOC) - Even though 54 percent of Georgia residents are aware emergency evacuations routes can change each year, half of them are not sure about their designated evacuation route, shows a recent AAA Consumer Pulse survey.

Residents should check with their local government to see if any changes were made to their evacuation zone, since the zone is what determines when an area is required to evacuate, according to AAA.

The survey found that 93 percent of Georgia respondents would follow evacuation warnings, but only 32 percent keep an emergency car kit in their vehicle.

Marge Engleman, Sr. Insurance Manager, AAA Auto Club South, recoemmends taking important documents such as insurance policies, medical paperwork, valueables and an inventory of personal items when it's time to evacuate. An emergency kit should also be in the car when it is time to evacuate, according to AAA.

The survey found that 60 percent of Georgia respondents said they do not prepare for severe weather or hurricane season, and significantly fewer people keep enough supply of a supply of first aid, medical supplies, or medication, flashlights and batteries, and a battery-operated radio.

Engleman stresses making a checklist of items needed and to-dos before the start of hurricane season.

Preparedness tips from AAA:

  • Talk with your insurance agent to be sure you have proper coverage on your homeowner's insurance policy as well as separate flood insurance. For more information on homeowner's and flood insurance visit AAA's Insurance web page.
  • Keep a folder ready with all important documentation and identification so it's easy to grab and transport. Store insurance policies in a waterproof bin or container.
  • Maintain a household inventory and take photos of items inside your home like personal belongings, appliances, furniture, and electronics for proof of ownership.
  • Be sure to have an ample supply of necessary medications in case pharmacies are closed.
  • Make sure all pets have proof of current vaccinations, since most hotels and shelters require them before accepting animals.
  • If you are told to evacuate, do not wait until the last minute to leave. Evacuate as soon as possible to ensure you get to your destination in time and are not caught in severe weather while driving.
  • Consider purchasing a generator if you are not asked to evacuate, but could lose power for an extended period of time. AAA members can save 10% on generators and 5% on sale items at Sears Commercial by calling 800.215.3979 through the AAA Show Your Card & Save Program.
  • Before evacuating, make sure all loose items around your home are put away or secured to the ground so they do not become projectiles in strong winds.

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