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If you've been preparing to escape from a hurricane since a hurricane watch was issued, you should be ready to leave as soon as you get evacuation orders. The longer you wait, the bigger your chances of getting stuck in a massive traffic jam. Try to consolidate everything as much as possible when you're packing. There is no need to pack up everything you own: just take the necessities. If you have time, disconnect some major appliances (so there's less risk of electrical shock when power is restored) and turn off the gas, electricity and water before you leave. Make sure you have all important papers and documents with you as well as all medications you take or might need. You're going to hit more congestion the farther you drive, so try to pick the closest possible evacuation destination. The best-case scenario would probably be a friend or relative who lives in your area but doesn't have to evacuate. Oftentimes all you need to do is evacuate far enough so you can escape storm surge. If you don't have to evacuate, or if for some reason you can't, you might decide to hunker down and ride out the hurricane at home. First and foremost, remember that most people who get hurt during a hurricane are injured by flying glass and debris, so don't go outside, even if it seems like the storm is over. You might actually be in the eye of the storm, and you could be stranded outside when the winds kick up again.