Evacuation Information

From the N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and Ready NC

Many interstates and major highways to and from coastal North Carolina can accommodate heavy traffic volumes and have higher speed limits to allow motorists to leave threatened areas more quickly and efficiently than using local roads.

View and download a coastal routes map

Evacuate Safely

Monitor ReadyNC.org for the latest information. If you are asked to evacuate, promptly heed instructions from local officials

  • Know your evacuation destination and be aware of available shelters. Notify family and friends of your plans
  • If there is time to do so safely, turn off gas, electricity, and water
  • Unplug appliances before leaving
  • Take your emergency supply kit with you. Bring extra cash, medications, and important documents when you evacuate.
  • Remember, specialty items (infant formula, diapers, specific dietary foods, durable medical equipment, and some medical supplies) may not be available at emergency shelters
  • Not all shelters are pet-friendly, so double-check before bringing your animals
  • Keep your cell phone charged and calls brief to minimize network congestion
  • After the storm, be patient and listen to local offcials for instructions on returning home. Re-entry into communities may be initially limited to frst responders and residents

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I take designated evacuation routes and not the back roads I'm more familiar with?
​Emergency responders cannot be everywhere at once. Law enforcement officers, the NCDOT State Farm® Safety Patrol, and other personnel are typically positioned along the major evacuation routes to help motorists. Straying from these routes increases the risk of getting stranded or lost.
I'm worried about getting stuck in traffic. What kinds of essential items should I pack before leaving?
​If possible, leave with a full tank of gas and have plenty of water and non-perishable foods on hand, since grocery stores and restaurants might not be open. For more information, visit ReadyNC.org, a comprehensive resource for emergency preparedness, weather conditions, evacuations, and other emergency management information.
What if I run out of gas while on the road?
​If you run out of gas or experience trouble with your vehicle during an evacuation, move it safely to the shoulder of the road to reduce unnecessary congestion. During a major evacuation, NCDOT's goal is to have the NCDOT State Farm® Safety Patrol available to help keep lanes clear and traffic moving.
There is some water flowing down my street, but the news says the main roads are clear. Should I drive through it?
No. Wait for the water to recede before you drive. Even if it appears to be shallow, moving water is powerful enough to push a car off the road and strand its passengers within minutes. 
You also cannot be sure exactly how deep the water is or what is lying beneath its surface. It could be concealing a large sinkhole or piece of debris, both of which could cause serious injuries and damage to vehicles.

If you must drive, be sure to use extreme caution, obey all posted warning signs and follow NCDOT's guidelines for driving on hazardous roads.


  • Safe driving guidelines - Safety information related to driving in severe weather and other conditions
  • Drive NC -  ​NCDOT’s traveler information management system, providing real-time information on events affecting travel across the state
  • 511 information line​ - Toll-free N.C. travel information line, which provides the latest updates on current travel conditions, including major closures and wrecks, on roadways
  • Motorist assistance​ - Free traveler assistance, including changing flat tires, providing gasoline and jump-starting batteries, available in certain areas of N.C.
  • Ferry services​ - Ferry schedules and routes
  • ​ReadyNC.org​ - A comprehensive resource for emergency preparedness, weather conditions, evacuations, and other emergency management information.​
  • Travel emergencies​ - Dial *HP on a mobile phone for help from the N.C. State Highway Patrol.