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.
Traffic on S.C. 544 just before US 501 is moving slowly as people begin to evacuate Horry County. Remember patience is key today! pic.twitter.com/rsClMcRFsk— Trooper Sonny SCHP (@SCHP_Troop5) September 11, 2018
Coastal areas of North Carolina and Virginia are also under mandatory evacuation orders.
Some Virginia inmates are among those evacuating, according to the state's Department of Corrections.
Mandatory NC evacuations for #FlorenceNC— NC Emergency Managem (@NCEmergency) September 11, 2018
Counties - Beaufort, Dare, Pamlico, Tyrrell
Beaches - Atlantic, Indian, Emerald Isle, Pine Knoll Shores, Ocracoke, Carolina, Kure, Wrightsville, Topsail, Currituck Outer Banks (visitors), Oak Island (visitors), Holden (visitors)
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.