shelter in place/evacuation

In the event of a disaster or emergency follow the instructions of local officials and emergency responders. They will direct you weather to go to find shelter or to evacuate. Unless instructed to evacuate, the BEST action is to stay where you are, if it's safe to do so!

house family

shelter in place

Shelter in Place in general means to take immediate shelter in your home, place of work, school, or other safe location and stay there until you are given an "all clear". A multitude of hazards can require sheltering in place, but in general, sheltering in place is appropriate when conditions outside are unsafe. 

  • Go indoors and stay indoors.
  • Stay Calm.
  • Bring all outdoor pets inside. 
  • Close and lock all windows and doors.
  • Turn off ventilation systems, water and gas utilities. 
  • Seal gaps under doorways and windows with wet towels and duct tape, if instructed to do so. 
  • Go to your basement for a storm and most interior room without windows. With a chemical threat an above ground location is better because most chemicals are heavier than air and may seep into the basement. 
  • Tune into your local radio/television station and listen for further instructions.
  • Limit the use of the telephone or internet unless it is an emergency in order to keep these lines open for emergency use. 
  • Make sure you have made plans to evacuate if the order is given by emergency authorities. 



Evacuation is used as a last resort when a serious threat to public safety exists. In some cases you may have time to prepare while other situations might call for an immediate evacuation. Plan how you will leave and where you will go if you are advised to evacuate. 

  • Stay Calm.
  • Take your emergency supply kit.
  • Take your pets with you and plan how you will care for them in an emergency. 
  • Secure your home.
  • Leave early enough to avoid severe weather.
  • Use only the travel routes established by authorizes.
  • Check on your neighbors who may need a ride.
  • When you are safe, call your out of state emergency contact.
  • Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
  • If there is time shut off all utilities before leaving. (Only if you know how to do it safely)

REMEMBER: Do Not attempt to pick up any family members who are in the danger zone from schools, daycare centers, hospitals or congregate care facilities, etc. They will be evacuated to a safe area in accordance with the facility's emergency evacuation plan. You will be given instructions where to find and pick up family members by turning to your local radio/television station. 

DO NOT call 9-1-1 for evacuation information! Check with your family members' specific facility for emergency evacuation plans and procedures that will be used during an emergency.