Mass evacuations are a rare public event, and they are not undertaken without a very good reason. As a result, when an evacuation is called for, they must be executed quickly and correctly.
During a major event, such as a hazardous materials release, the City of Lynnwood will activate its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to direct and coordinate the evacuation. If the event is severe enough, the Mayor will give the order to evacuate.
The Emergency Operations Center will use all means of public information available. This can include radio, television, highway reader boards, and possibly the Emergency Alert System. The public will be given directions regarding why the evacuation is necessary, where to evacuate (direction or location), and by what means.
Thousands of cars jamming the interstate onramps can be a disaster in itself. To lessen traffic congestion in a large scale evacuation, the Emergency Manager may coordinate with the Edmonds School District, Community Transit, and Metro Transit to provide bus service to evacuating neighborhoods. Using all available means of public notification, Emergency Managers will announce the neighborhood pick-up locations for residents to board a bus for transport out of the danger area.
While the transportation component is planned and executed, various shelter options are arranged for the evacuees. Shelters are usually established in city recreation centers, churches, or schools by pre-designated city employees trained to initiate shelter operations. As the lead shelter operations agency, the Red Cross simultaneously mobilizes their people and equipment to assume shelter management responsibilities in partnership with the local jurisdiction.
If ordered to evacuate, understand that Emergency Managers and public safety officials have determined that this is the prudent course of action. Please comply with an evacuation order without delay.