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Sheltering in Place

No matter where you are, it is important to be prepared to seek protection from severe weather or other outside hazards at a moment's notice.  This can mean evacuating to somewhere outside of the affected area, going to a Mass Care Shelter, or Sheltering in Place.  

If at home, school, a store, or an office building when an alert or warning is given (and no evacuation order is issued) the safest course of action is likely to remain inside and shelter-in-place until the danger has passed. 

The best places to take shelter will differ according to the type of emergency; listen carefully to public safety officials for instructions.  The safest place to shelter indoors depends on the building's design (mobile home, one- or two-story, or multi-level complex), the hazard, and the potential impacts.  

If you are on the road and can’t get indoors quickly and safely, it might be safer to pull over and stay in your car than to keep driving.  If you are very close to home, work, or another "brick and mortar" public building, go directly there and get inside immediately.  Usually, the length of time in the shelter will be short, such as during a tornado warning, and few supplies should be needed.  Keep a phone handy to let others know you are safe and to report any life-threatening emergency.  If sheltering with pets or infants, have plenty of plastic bags, old newspapers or absorbent pads, a waste container, and cleaning supplies.   For extended periods, sufficient water and food supplies also need to be on hand. 

Click HERE for suggestions to prepare a location for people and pets to "stay put" for protection from natural or man-made hazards.  If officials advise sheltering in a sealed room, close all exterior doors and windows, turn off blowers or air conditioners, and take measures to block outside air from entering the room.  

Don't forget your emergency communication plan.  Once secured in the safe shelter, let loved ones know if any family members are missing, where you are, and how you are doing.  Do not leave the shelter unless authorities announce it is safe to do so.  If officials say to evacuate the area, follow those instructions.

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FEMA all-hazards shelter-in-place instructions for residents in manufactured or mobile home
Shelter-in-Place Mobile Home
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FEMA all-hazards shelter-in-place instructions for residents in a 1 or 2 story building
Shelter-in-Place 1- or 2-Story
FEMA all-hazards shelter-in-place instructions for those in a multistory building
Shelter-in-Place Multi-Story
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