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Evacuation Plans

New Mexico has no mandatory evacuation law.

Be Ready

City Officials and/or emergency responders may only recommend evacuations of a threatened area.

We try not to use the word "mandatory." When we use the word "Evacuation," we seriously consider it is time to worry about saving your life.

We are probably close to pulling our public safety folks back so as not to endanger them, and think you should do the same. Fire and Police may stay to help evacuate or to protect property, but we believe it is time for everyone else to leave.

Evacuations are used to move people out of the way of a threatening situation such as a flood or fire. The scale of an evacuation can vary from a single building to an entire city.

Your safety is our priority and we hope that this Evacuation Plan overview will enhance your preparedness and contribution to a safe evacuation process should Albuquerque face such an emergency.

Albuquerque Residents & Visitors

The City of Albuquerque Office of Emergency Management works in conjunction with emergency responders to maintain a flexible evacuation plan based on the situations that may impact us. There are no specific evacuations routes for each type of hazard due to the extreme variability of Albuquerque's hazards. There are many factors that influence how each storm develops, floods flow, fires move, and chemical plumes expand.

These variable factors are considered before an evacuation is ordered. If it is too dangerous to evacuate, officials may decide it is safer to take protective actions, such as shelter in place, until it is safe to evacuate or the emergency is over. Once the decision is made to evacuate, the route and type of evacuation will vary depending on the scene. Key elements in these important decisions include:

  • What are the wind and weather conditions?
  • What time of day or night is it?
  • Are conditions deteriorating or improving?
  • Are people safer indoors or outdoors?
  • Will the rapid movement of hundreds or thousands of people injure as many or more than the threat?
  • Will the out flow of people obstruct the movement of emergency vehicles and responders?
  • Will backed-up traffic block vital roadways?
  • Is there a safe mode of transportation and route for evacuees?
  • Is there sufficient notification time before the need to evacuate?
  • Are there Safe locations for staging areas, pickup points, shelter, supplies and medical assistance, if needed?
  • Does the impacted group have special needs?

Rest assured that when an evacuation is recommended by local officials it is a serious situation!

Officials try to give as much advanced warning as possible, so the problem may not look serious at the time you are notified. Please evacuate immediately when asked to because you could lose your life if you stay.

If you wait, rescuers may not be able to reach you in time when the dangerous situation is worse.