Mandatory Evacuation Zones are established based on the threat of flooding due to storm surge. Since Fort Bend County is not at risk for storm surge, the County will not be part of the mandatory evacuation of coastal communities.
Fort Bend County has been designated by the State of Texas as a “Pass-through” County. This means that coastal communities who are designated as “Evacuation” counties will pass through Fort Bend County along designated evacuation routes to designated “Shelter” counties. The designated evacuation routes through Fort Bend County are State Highway 6 and State Highway 36.
Unless there is a threat so great to Fort Bend County that damage from the hurricane will be strong enough to cause major damage to the majority of structures in the County, Fort Bend County will only order a voluntary evacuation, meaning if you want to leave, you should do so.
A voluntary evacuation should be considered mandatory if:
- You live in a low-lying area that has a history of flooding.
- You live in a structure that is unable to withstand winds of greater than 75 miles per hour (such as a manufactured housing or housing that is significantly older.
- You are unable to be without electricity for an extended period of time.
If I decide to evacuate, where should I go?
It is understood that the majority of Texans will choose to evacuate to hotels or relatives outside of the areas at risk. However, for those who have nowhere to go, the State of Texas has developed a State Evacuation and Sheltering plan where individuals who evacuate can stay in shelters at designated communities who have developed plans to shelter large populations in a shelter hub system. Evacuees will enter the host county and will then register at a Reception Center and then be assigned to a specific shelter in the community that will meet their needs.
If you do not feel safe in your home, Fort Bend County OEM strongly encourages you to leave and evacuate to one of the shelter hub communities. There are plans in place to open shelters of last resort in Fort Bend County, mainly for individuals stranded on the evacuation routes. These shelters of last resort will not be announced until approximately 10 hours prior to expected tropical storm-force winds affecting the county. All persons who are utilizing a shelter of last resort are expected to bring their own food, water, blanket, and cots, since these shelters are for weathering the storm only. There are no guarantees that these shelters will be open in the County, so we again encourage you to evacuate if you require a safe place to weather the storm.
What if I have functional access needs?
Special needs people include those who are disabled, ill, or on a low income with no transportation- anyone who needs assistance if they are to evacuate. Even though Fort Bend County is not within a mandatory evacuation zone, residents are still eligible for evacuation transportation assistance. Emergency Management Departments are collecting information on those who will need assistance evacuating. Please register your information with 2-1-1 so we know who you are.
Click on the following links to access helpful information from the State of Texas Governor’s Division of Emergency Management
Emergency Preparedness Kits for those with Special Needs
Preparing for Emergencies with Special Needs Individuals