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Frequently Asked Questions

Choose a topic to view answers to common questions related to the JTR and travel policy. Access more than 800 additional FAQs [login required] in the TraX Knowledge Center.

FAQ | Jan. 25, 2023

Evacuations | CONUS

Service member dependents, civilian employees, and civilian employee dependents are authorized evacuation allowances when authorized or ordered to leave a CONUS location because of unusual or emergency circumstances. An individual listed in JTR, paragraph (par.) 060101 may authorize or order an evacuation.

A Service member ordered to evacuate a location must travel in a temporary duty (TDY) or permanent change of station (PCS) status. A Service member is ineligible for evacuation allowances.

The appropriate official in JTR, par. 060101 must authorize or order an evacuation to obligate Department of Defense (DoD) funds. Evacuation allowances are only payable on or after the evacuation effective date. An official cannot authorize an evacuation retroactively. A local civil evacuation order cannot be used to support evacuation allowance eligibility for Service member dependents, DoD civilian employees or DoD civilian employee dependents.

Civilian employees and their dependents follow two different sets of regulations for evacuation allowances. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Regulation, 5 C.F.R. Part 550, Subpart D is the authority for civilian employee and dependent evacuations in the CONUS. Department of State Standardized Regulations (DSSR), Chapter 600, §§ 611–639 is the authority for civilian employee and dependent evacuations in foreign locations.

Service member dependents, civilian employees, and civilian employee dependents receive transportation and per diem for allowable travel time, excluding personal travel time, until they reach the safe haven location. Command-sponsored dependents, age 12 or older, receive up to the full locality per diem rate and those under age 12 receive up to 50 percent of the locality per diem rate. Per diem for departure and return days to the permanent duty station (PDS) are paid at 75 percent of the meal and incidental expense (M&IE) rate.

If an evacuee travels by privately owned vehicle (POV) or rental car to and from a safe haven, then they are reimbursed at the TDY mileage rate (see JTR, pars. 060202 and 060401).

If evacuees travel to a location other than the safe haven location, then reimbursement is limited to the cost of transportation to the authorized location at the Standard CONUS per diem rate, unless the alternate location is later approved by the authorizing or order-issuing official (see JTR, pars. 060202 and 060205).

Service member dependents, civilian employees and civilian employee dependents must not use DTS for evacuations. Instead, the evacuee must submit a voucher to the servicing finance office. Refer to Who May Use the Defense Travel System? [PDF, 5 pages] for a summary of travel situations when travelers are permitted to use the Defense Travel System.

For Service member dependents, civilian employees, and civilian employee dependents, safe haven allowances consist of a lodging allowance and M&IE allowance. Evacuees may receive safe haven allowances for up to 180 days after the effective date of the evacuation order (5 CFR § 550.405(b)). If a Service member dependent, civilian employee or civilian employee dependent remains in their home and chooses not to evacuate, then they may not receive safe haven allowances.

The lodging allowance reimburses the cost of commercial lodging and must be documented by a receipt. Lodging tax in the CONUS and non-foreign locations OCONUS is a separately reimbursable expense. If a Service member dependent stays with friends or relatives, then lodging reimbursement is not authorized (see JTR, par. 060205). If a civilian employee or civilian employee dependent stays with friends or relatives and can substantiate an additional cost that the host incurred for providing lodging, then lodging reimbursement may be approved (5 CFR §§ 550.401 through 550.409).

First 30 days: Dependents age 12 or older receive up to 100 percent of the locality per diem rate. Dependents under age 12 receive up to 50 percent of the locality per diem rate.

Days 31–180: Dependents age 12 or older receive up to 60 percent of the locality per diem rate. Dependents under age 12 receive up to 30 percent of the locality per diem rate.

A Service member may be authorized round-trip travel and transportation allowances to escort dependents incapable of traveling alone to the safe haven. This travel is considered official travel and the Service member is in a TDY status (see JTR, par. 060203). A Service member’s allowances to escort a dependent are not considered evacuation allowances because a Service member cannot be evacuated.

Service member dependents may ship up to 350 lbs. of unaccompanied baggage per dependent age 12 or older and 175 lbs. per dependent under age 12 up to a maximum of 1,000 lbs. per household (see JTR, Section 0603).

For a civilian employee or their dependent, there is no authority for the Government to ship unaccompanied baggage.

For a Service member dependent, installation commanders have the authority to ship or store HHG using local operation and maintenance (O&M) funds, including quarters-to-quarters (Government, privatized, and local economy) moves and non-temporary storage (NTS) of HHG for quarters that become uninhabitable at locations in the CONUS due to a natural disaster. Local moves may be performed as specified in JTR, Section 0519. NTS is authorized under JTR, Section 0518-B. These moves cannot be charged to evacuation-funding appropriations. They are funded by local installation support funds and the order authorizing the move or storage must be in accordance with the applicable installation’s local procedures.

For a civilian employee or their dependent, HHG shipment to the safe haven may be authorized for an evacuation (see JTR, par. 060403). Local moves may be authorized under JTR, par. 054802 using local O&M funds. There is no authority for HHG storage.

POV shipment to a safe haven is not authorized.

When a Service member dependent is unable to drive a POV to the safe haven location, a local travel allowance of $25 per day is authorized. The local travel allowance partially offsets local travel expenses (see JTR, par. 060205).

For a civilian employee or their dependent, there is no authority to pay a local travel allowance.

The official that authorized or ordered the evacuation may terminate the evacuation and authorize return to the PDS (see JTR, par. 060107 and 5 CFR § 550.407):

  • Return to the PDS: If the family returns to the evacuated PDS, then transportation and per diem are authorized and any HHG or unaccompanied baggage is returned to the PDS.
  • Move to a Designated Place: Service member dependents moved to a designated place are authorized PCS transportation and per diem to that location, unaccompanied baggage, HHG transportation, POV transportation, a dislocation allowance, and safe haven allowances at the designated place for up to 30 days while establishing a permanent residence (see JTR, par. 060206). If civilian dependents move to a designated place, then transportation, per diem, and HHG shipment are authorized to the designated place. Safe haven allowances are authorized at the designated place until a permanent residence is established provided the civilian dependents do not exceed the 180-day limit (see JTR, par. 060403 and 5 CFR § 550.407).
  • Move to Another PDS: PCS allowances in JTR, Chapter 5 are authorized for moves to another PDS.