Evacuation / Shelter-in-Place

Evacuation is on of the basic instructions you may receive from officials when your area is seriously threatened in an emergency. When that happens, you need to leave the area quickly and safely.

How To Evacuate

  • Turn off all appliances. Lock doors and windows.
  • Bring along your emergency kit and some ID.
  • Use travel routes specified by local officials- not short cuts.
  • Call your family contact and tell them where you are.
  • Only return home when officials give the All Clear message.
  • Use caution reentering your home. Open windows and doors to move air around.
  • Do not strike matches or turn on lights until you are sure there are no gas leaks.

Special Needs

For those with special needs, additional planning and practice is vital to being prepared in case of an evacuation. Remember, navigating stairs in a building with elevators that may not be operational will be difficult. Develop a "buddy system" for persons with special needs.


"Shelter-in-place" is one of the basic instructions you may receive from officials if there is a chemical emergency in your area. It provides a barrier between you and the dangerous chemicals in the outside air.

How To Shelter-In-Place

  • If you are outside, go inside and bring your pets.
  • Close and lock doors and windows. Turn off all heating, cooling, and ventilation systems.
  • Go to your shelter room with your family and pets. Bring your emergency kit and radio.
  • Seal cracks around doors, windows, vents, and outlets using duct tape, plastic wrapping, towels, preferably damp, and scissors.
  • Stay in the shelter room until officials give the "All Clear" message.
  • Once the "All Clear" has been given, ventilate your home by opening all doors and windows and going outside.

Tips for Shelter-In-Place

  • Have your family practice evacuation and shelter-in-place procedures.
  • Learn about evacuation routes and public shelters in your area.
  • Pick a "family contact" in another state who will be your contact in an emergency.
  • Keep supplies in your emergency kit for shelter-in-place.
  • Choose a shelter room that has a telephone, television and a radio, but few or no windows.