Safety Tips for Sheltering in Place

Depending on the emergency, it may be safer to stay where you are.

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Depending on the emergency, it may be safer to stay where you are. In these cases, public safety officials will provide guidance on the necessary protective actions you should take. This could be as simple as remaining at home while officials clear a hazard nearby, or it could require more protective measures in emergencies involving contaminated air.

Before the Storm or Emergency

  • Make sure your Family Emergency Plan identifies where you, in your home, will go if asked to shelter in place.
  • Your plan should address any special needs you or your family may have.
    • If you receive regular medical treatments or home healthcare services, work with your provider to identify options if you are unable to leave your home for a period of time.
    • Visit our Access and Functional Needs page for further information and planning guidance.
  • Identify the ways you will receive information and alerts.

During the Storm or Emergency

If you are asked to shelter in place:

  • Stay indoors and away from windows.
  • Lock doors, close windows, air vents, fireplace dampers.
  • Make sure you have an emergency kit.
  • Listen to local television or radio for updates. Conditions may change quickly; be prepared to evacuate.
  • Stay inside until public safety officials tell you it is safe to leave.

If you are asked to shelter in place because public officials are concerned about harmful debris or contaminants in the air, take these additional precautions:

  • Go to an interior room or a room with as few window as possible.
  • Make sure your pets are indoors.
  • Turn off fans, air conditioning, and forced air heating systems.
  • Seal all windows, doors, and air vents with plastic sheeting and duct tape.

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