There are two basic types of evacuations that would normally be seen in an event in South Portland.
Large Scale Evacuation: This would be for an event such as a hurricane or severe winter storm where a large area of South Portland is evacuated to a location outside of the City. Around the City there are evacuation signs that would lead you away from the coast and inland. As the City of South Portland would be considered unsafe, City Emergency Leadership would be working with County Emergency Management to determine the final destination(s) for evacuee as well as shelter locations. This would be a multi-jurisdictional response as an event like this would likely be effecting more than just South Portland.
Local Evacuations: This would be for a event that is smaller and localized to a certain area. Examples might be a large building fire, localized flooding, hazardous materials release, or civil unrest. There are no specific plans in place for Local Evacuations as there are too many scenarios and too many variables to plan for. In the event of an evacuation, emergency personnel (Fire and Police) would assist in directing people out of the immediate danger area. From there people would need to manage their own destinations until a shelter is established. Residents are encourage to being familiar with their neighborhoods and prepare evacuation plans similar to home fire escape plans.
Shelter In Place: A third option that might be used is a shelter in place option. Implementing and executing an evacuation is very manpower intensive requiring resources to be diverted from mitigating the issue may not be an option. Having people shelter in their homes may in a lot of cases be a safer option.
Notifications: If an evacuation was ordered a wide blast of notifications would happen, using social media, new media, CODE Red (reverse 911), emergency personnel going door to door and public address systems on vehicles.