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Evacuation sign
In some emergency situations, you have to evacuate. You will not have much time to do so. A good preparation is therefore important. 

Something happens at your home:

  • Prepare an evacuation plan of your home. Make sure everyone knows the best way out. 
  • Pay extra attention to family members with specific needs, e.g. elderly, children, disabled persons, etc.
  • Hang the house keys near your door
  • Divide the tasks. For example, think about who takes the kids. 
  • Prepare an emergency kit that you can quickly take with you in case of an emergency. Include any documents that may be useful, such as copies of identity cards or insurance policies. 
  • Practise the plan regularly with everyone. For example, finding your way out of the house when there is heavy smoke (blindfolded) is not easy.

Something happens in your area:

When and where should you evacuate?

  • In the event of a major disaster, never evacuate on your own initiative, but wait for instructions from the emergency services.
  • You can evacuate to:
    • Family or friends who are not in the affected area. Ask in advance if they want to be your contact person in case of an emergency.
    • A reception centre (e.g. sports hall or party hall). The emergency services will give you the necessary information.

How should you evacuate?

  • Usually you will have to evacuate with your own vehicle.
  • It may be possible to take a bus to the reception centre.  The emergency services on site or your municipality will inform you of this.

How long does an evacuation last?

How long you will not be allowed to enter your home depends on the specific situation. As soon as the situation is safe, you can return home. This may be after just a few hours, but it could also take several days.

My family is scattered.

Once you are safe, try to contact your family. Tell them where you are going and when you think you will get there.

You can also ask a relative or friend who does not live in the same area as you to act as a contact person. As soon as you are safe, let them know. Inform them in case any family members have been separated.

What do you need to take?

Take a minimum of personal items (identity card, money, a few bottles of water, mobile phone and charger, important medicines, etc.).

Do you have small children? Also think of nappies, baby bottles or a few toys.

Can you take pets?

You may be allowed to take small pets. If not, it is best to give them enough food and water for 24 hours. Can you not return home after 24 hours? Then you will receive specific recommendations for your pets.

How do you leave your house safely? 

  • Do not leave electrical appliances, such as a coffee machine, an iron, etc., switched on. The fridge, freezer, etc. may remain switched on.
  • Close windows and doors. Do you have an alarm system? Then turn it on.

During the evacuation, local police forces will take appropriate safety measures in the evacuation area. 
How do you know when you can go back home?

  • In the reception centre the contact person on site will provide the necessary information.
  • Are you staying with family or friends in the meantime? Then inform yourself via the website of the municipality, listen to the radio attentively or call the information number.