Florence nears Southeast coast: Tips to keep in mind if you’re evacuating

Hurricane Florence has prompted mandatory evacuations in three states as the Category 4 storm barrels toward the Southeast coastline.

In South Carolina, hospitals and nursing homes have begun the evacuation process and the National Guard and Red Cross have descended on the area, according to Gov. Henry McMaster.

Some coastal areas of North Carolina and Virginia are also under mandatory evacuation orders.

Here are some tips to keep in mind during evacuations, according to the Department of Homeland Security:

— Identify several places you could go, like a friend’s home or a motel. Pick places in different directions so you have options.

— If you have pets, remember that most public shelters allow only service animals.

— The FEMA app has a list of open shelters.

— Unplug electronics like TVs and small appliances.

— Follow recommended evacuation routes and don’t take shortcuts.

— Come up with a family re-unification plan in case you are separated.

— Take an emergency kit with you that includes water, food, a flashlight, a first aid kit, extra batteries and important family documents.

— Stay in contact with local officials.

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