evacuation routes in the state are interstates and major highways to and from coastal North Carolina that can accommodate heavy traffic volumes and higher speed limits and allow motorists to leave threatened areas more quickly and efficiently than if they were to use local roads.
Most of these routes are marked with circular blue signs that read "Evacuation Routes."
In the event of an emergency at any of North Carolina's four nuclear power plants – operated by Duke Energy – there are routes designated for evacuation:
|Safe Driving Guidelines||Safety information related to driving in severe weather and other conditions|
|DriveNC.gov||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 |
ReadyNC.org||A comprehensive resource for emergency preparedness, weather conditions, evacuations and other emergency management information.|
|Travel emergencies||*HP on a mobile phone for help from N.C. State Highway Patrol for help|
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.