The Evacuation Assembly Area (EAA)
Evacuation Assembly Area Process
Do you, or someone you know, need assistance evacuating Chatham County during a hurricane or tropical storm? For those in need of assistance, you can catch a Chatham Area Transit (CAT) bus free of charge to the Savannah Civic Center. Upon arrival at the Civic Center, residents will be registered either as an individual or with your family. After registration, you will board a bus and you will be transported to an inland public shelter.
Several seats will be left empty on each bus to accommodate stranded motorists who require transportation, but we will strive to keep families that registered together on the same bus.
PETS ARE PERMITTED! If you have a pet that you would like to evacuate with you, bring them to the Savannah Civic Center. Pets will be registered and will be placed on a separate bus for transportation. Your animal will evacuate to the same city/county as you, but will stay in a separate shelter. Regular transportation will be provided for you to visit your animal during your stay in the shelter. Be sure to bring supplies for your pet including their vaccine records, any medication they take, comfort items, food that you have and a carrier/leash/collar.
Please keep in mind that there will be no parking allowed in the vicinity of Civic Center. If you drive to the Civic Center, DO NOT expect to board a bus. This mode of evacuation is for residents with no other means of transportation and should be considered as a last option.
Important Information to Know if Boarding.
Space is limited on the evacuation buses. Therefore, only one to two hand-carry bags will be allowed per person. When packing, consider taking extra clothes and comfort items, such as a pillow, to ease your travel to the shelter.
If you do not have proof of vaccines for your pet, they may receive a vaccine during their stay. The primary goal is to ensure your pet's safety.
To apply, residents can call toll-free:
and follow the phone prompts.
Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Irma were certainly wake up calls for all Georgia Coastal Communities. Chatham County officials learned during Matthew and Irma that we need to improve the tracking of individuals with Functional, Access and Medical Needs in the County. The Chatham County Department of Public Health is encouraging those with functional, access, or medical needs to apply to the Hurricane Registry before another storm threatens the Georgia coast. Residents should plan ahead and call today!
The Hurricane Registry for those with functional, access, or medical needs is a list maintained by the health department of residents who may need transportation or medical assistance and have no resources such as family members, neighbors, or friends to help them evacuate if a hurricane is threatening our area. Residents must apply to be on the Registry. Those who meet the criteria and are put on the Registry will be evacuated when there is serious threat of a hurricane.
Those with functional or access needs - including children or adults with physical, sensory, or intellectual disabilities who need assistance with the activities of daily living including eating, taking medication, dressing, bathing, communicating, transferring from bed to chair and chair to bed, and toileting - will be evacuated to a gymnasium type setting far enough inland so that they are safe from the storm. The accommodations at the shelter will be basic (a cot with 20-40 square feet of space, bathroom facilities, meals, etc.) and the shelter may be several hours away.
Those with medical needs - including those who need the help of trained medical professionals for things like IV medication or who may be dependent on a respirator or other medical equipment may be taken to a healthcare facility.
Please note that anyone who lives in a nursing home, assisted living, or personal care facility is not eligible for the Registry and must follow their facility's emergency plan.
The Registry is truly a last resort, but it is important that CEMA and Public Health officials have a list of residents who have certain needs and absolutely no other way to evacuate to ensure their safety and well-being, should an evacuation become necessary.
The time to apply for the Registry is NOW! It is important to note that Registry applications will no longer be accepted 72 hours prior to the arrival of tropical storm force winds. Therefore, you cannot wait until a storm is approaching to apply.
Evacuation Supply Kit for Registry Clients: Click to Download