DAPHNE, Ala. (WKRG) — When hurricanes hit, decisions can be life and death. That’s part of Daphne Fire and Rescue’s message to residents ahead of the 2022 hurricane season.

Chaplain Dickey with Daphne Fire and Rescue urges residents to evacuate when necessary. Incoming hurricanes can make it hard for first responders to rescue those trapped in the hurricane’s path.

“So hey, if you need to evacuate, evacuate,” said Dickey. “Please do not put me in the position to go tell your loved ones that unfortunately they did not evacuate and we have recovered your individual and they are deceased.”

If you choose to ride out the storm, stay home until roads have been cleared. Kathy Hoffren of Fairhope has her own harrowing story. Hoffren won’t forget the day she rode out hurricane Sally in her Fairhope home.

“I thought I was going to die. I seriously thought I was going to die. I was texting my kids telling them I love them,” said Hoffren.

Many trapped in their homes during a hurricane rely on the efforts of first responders. Captain Joshua Gibbs with Daphne Fire and Rescue recalled when he rescued two others during Hurricane Zeta.

“This boat actually motored down the causeway. We went eastbound and the westbound lanes of the causeway to be able to get to one of the victims, so we went around and motored almost out into a parking lot to pick up the other victim,” said Gibbs. 

That boat is uniquely designed to ride through anything, from contaminated water to heavy rainfall. The boat is used as a last resort to rescue those caught in the hurricane. When a hurricane is expected to hit, follow the guidelines to evacuate or stay home until roads have cleared.

If you ever find yourself in danger, call 911 before friends or family. If conditions are too bad for first responders to get to you, 911 will tell you what to do.