Whether you are at home, at work, or any where else, emergency situations may arise, such as an earthquake, tornado, or a man made disaster, that makes it unsafe to move from one location to another. You may find it in your best interest to stay where you are and shelter-in-place to avoid uncertain dangers on streets and highways.
If you have to evacuate, make sure that you are prepared and can do so safely. If not, consider what you can do to shelter-in-place. You may have to shelter-in-place alone, with family members, co-workers, or with neighbors. You may also have to shelter-in-place with total strangers.
Also consider how a shelter designated for the public would meet your needs. FEMA, the Red Cross, or local agencies may set up disaster centers for your area but it may be up to you to decide if it is best to try to reach the one nearest you or to stay where you are until help arrives or if you can safely get to the shelter.
Use available information to assess the situation. If you see large amounts of debris in the air, or if local authorities say the air is badly contaminated, you may want to take this kind of action.
There could be times when you will need to stay put and create a barrier between yourself and potentially contaminated air outside. This process is known as "sealing the room." For more information about "sealing the room," visit www.ready.gov.
Work with local emergency managers and others in your community on preparing shelters in advance to meet access and functional needs. Go to www.fema.gov/about/odic to learn more about functional needs support services in general population shelters.
If you have options and decide to stay put and shelter in place, consider that you may be without electricity, phone service and accessible roads for days, weeks, or longer.
Listed below are talking points developed by FEMA that will help you in making you and your family as prepared as possible if there is a disaster in the area in which you live.
(2) Be informed
(9) Emergency kit
(10) Emergency money
(11) Fire safety
(12) Get involved
(14) Important documents
(15) Make a plan
(16) Medical supplies
(18) Stay or go
(21) Working together
Preparing Makes Sense. Get Ready Now.
Information was developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in consultation with AARP, the American Red Cross and the National Organization on Disability.
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