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Center City Evacuation Plan

Citizens and Visitors to Charlotte and Mecklenburg County :
The City of Charlotte and its partner agencies developed a Center City Evacuation Plan to guide you, both in planning and actual evacuation of the Center City should the need arise. The plan provides general guidelines for rapid evacuations by vehicle and on foot. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with the plan; then use it to develop a personal plan that you and your family can easily follow in the case of an emergency.

Charlotte Center City Evacuation Plan
The City of Charlotte has developed a plan to evacuate the Center City workforce, residents and visitors in times of emergency. The map located above indicates the four different Wards of the Center City Business District. You should identify the Ward in which you work or live. The following guidelines and concepts define the scope of the evacuation plan: Things that you need to know…

Notification – The Mayor of the City of Charlotte or designee will order an evacuation based on current conditions and recommendations from emergency response personnel. An evacuation would occur only if there is significant and credible information from reliable sources indicating that there is imminent danger from an attack or natural disaster.

What do I do at the time of an emergency evacuation? Above all – Remain Calm. Remember that you have made prearranged plans for you and your family. Obey all instructions from the emergency plan, the Police and Fire emergency personnel. Your first priority is to remove yourself from any danger.

How can I be prepared?  Being prepared at the time of an emergency involves knowing where you are supposed to go and how to get there. You should know which direction you will be heading once you leave your building and/or parking location. You can determine this by looking at the center city map and following the color coded grid for your Ward. For vehicular evacuations, be sure to use the evacuation route that corresponds with the location of your vehicle, not your place of work. For pedestrian evacuations, be sure to use the evacuation route that leads you to the closest Pedestrian Hub.

Create a Personal Evacuation Plan

Your assigned routes of travel are highlighted. All other routes are for emergency vehicles only. In an evacuation, do not use your regular route of travel, unless it is suggested on the map. Normal traffic patterns and routes may be altered depending on the type of emergency. Our evacuation plan is based on the epicenter of the event occurring in the very core of the Center City district. Considering that the emergency could take place anywhere, the predesignated routes should be used for guidance and followed as closely as possible.

Evacuation Route Information

Center City Evacuation Route plans

Precautionary Evacuation (Vehicular)  When this type of evacuation is ordered, those affected should leave the area by the same mode of transportation in which they traveled into the center city area, unless directed otherwise by Police or Fire personnel.

Only the normal (right) side of the roadway should be used for travel away from the Center City area. The left side of the roadway must be kept clear for responding emergency vehicles. All inbound traffic will be restricted. Traffic will not be permitted to drive cross-town. If there is a power outage, all intersections with traffic lights must be treated as four-way stop signs.

Continue traveling until you are at least one mile away from the Center City area. Do not abandon your vehicle at any time because the traffic is too congested. This will create an unmanageable situation and turn a vehicular evacuation into a pedestrian evacuation without cause. Once you have committed to a travel route, do not change it.  

Pedestrian Evacuation    A pedestrian evacuation will be ordered, only if a vehicular evacuation is not possible. A direct threat or attack would initiate a pedestrian evacuation.

Predesignated Pedestrian Hubs are clearly indicated on the map. Walk in an orderly fashion to the nearest area hub, following the predesignated routes. Do not create your own area for standing or waiting; keep moving until you come to your designated area.

The Charlotte Trolley line will be unoccupied and available for pedestrians to use for foot access out of the Center City district.

From the Hubs you will be transported to a predesignated shelter for pick up. Remember, it is up to you to develop a family emergency plan.

Special Needs    If you have any special needs and require transportation assistance, in either a vehicular evacuation or a pedestrian evacuation, you must make a personal transportation plan for yourself. Do not rely on outside resources that may not be available. Emergency resources will be available on a priority basis only. Please refer to for more information.

You should coordinate with your property manager and know what the emergency plans are for your building. If you don't have a plan, work together with the property manager to develop one.

Do not attempt to go against the flow of traffic. Obey the directions of all Police and Fire personnel.

Make a prearranged personal plan for you and your family. Develop a communication system to ensure everyone knows the plan and review it periodically for easy recall.

Create a Family Emergency Plan

Additional Information and Resources   If you need additional information, you are encouraged to contact your security representative or your Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Community Coordinator at 704-336-5729.

Primary Emergency Broadcast Units

              WBTV (CBS)  Channel 3
              WCNC (NBC) Channel 6
              Fox 18 News   Channel 18
              WSOC (ABC) Channel 4
              News 14 Carolina Channel 14
              WBT Radio  Frequency 1110AM (99.3FM)
              WFAE Radio   Frequency 90.7FM 

Special Thanks to the Agencies of the  Center City Evacuation Plan Workgroup :

      - Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department
      - Charlotte Fire Department
      - Mecklenburg Emergency Medical Services
      - Charlotte Department of Transportation
      - Charlotte Area Transit System
      - Charlotte Mecklenburg Emergency Management Office
      - Charlotte Center City Partners
      - University of North Carolina at Charlotte
      - Bank of America
      - Wachovia
      - Duke Energy