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Evacuation Routes

Coastal Evacuation Routes

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Coastal Routes

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.

Know Your Zone

Using a color-coded map, Know Your Zone is a tier-evacuation system that identifies areas most at-risk to hurricanes, tropical storms and other events. The system, developed by the N.C. Department of Public Safety​, aims to help those in affected communities with personal readiness, avoid unnecessary evacuation travel and increase public safety.   

Learn More ​

Travel Resources

Safe Driving Guidelines​Safety information related to driving in severe weather and other conditions.​NCDOT’s traveler information management system, which provides real-time information on events affecting travel across the state.
511 information line​North Carolina's toll-free travel information line, which provides the latest on current travel conditions, including major closures and wrecks, on interstate, state and U.S. routes.
Motorist assistance​In certain areas of North Carolina, free traveler assistance, including changing flat tires, providing gasoline and jump-starting batteries.
Ferry services​Ferry schedules and routes.
​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. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • 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 ​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, 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 ​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.

Nuclear Emergencies

There are routes designated for evacuation in the event of an emergency at any of the nuclear power plants in or around North Carolina. Additional information about nuclear preparedness is available at Duke Energy's website.

​Nuclear Facility​Map​Directions
​Brunswick Nuclear Plant (Brunswick County) ​Map ​Directions
​Harris Nuclear Plant (Wake County) ​MapDirections
​McGuire Nuclear Station (Mecklenburg County)Map ​Directions
​Catawba Nuclear Station (York County, S.C.)Map ​Directions


4/3/2024 11:42 AM