Shelter in the Storm

Choosing to take shelter is necessary in many emergencies.

Taking appropriate shelter is critical in times of disaster. Sheltering is appropriate when conditions require that you seek protection in your home, place of employment or other location when disaster strikes. Sheltering outside the hazard area could include staying with friends and relatives, seeking commercial lodging or staying in a mass care facility operated by disaster relief groups.

To effectively shelter, you must first consider the hazard and then choose a place in your home or other building that is safe for that hazard. For example, for a tornado, a room should be selected that is in a basement or an interior room on the lowest level away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls.

Taking appropriate shelter is critical for protection in times of disaster. When conditions require it, you may need to seek shelter in your home, workplace or school. Sheltering outside the hazard area could include staying with friends or relatives or at a mass care facility operated by disaster relief groups.

The safest location to seek shelter varies by hazard. For example, select a room in a basement or an interior room on the lowest level away from windows and outside walls if a tornado strikes.

Depending on the type of disaster, there may be times when it is best to “shelter in place” to avoid uncertainty outdoors. Some guidelines for sheltering in place include:

  • Bring your family and pets inside immediately;
  • Get your emergency supply kit;
  • Lock doors, close windows, air vents and fireplace dampers; and
  • Go to an interior room with few or no windows.

If the need arises, you could be asked to create a barrier of protection between yourself and potentially contaminated air outside. Learn the steps required to “seal the room.” It could be a matter of survival!

Even though mass care shelters often provide water, food, medicine and basic sanitary facilities, you should plan to take your disaster supplies kit with you so you will have the supplies you require. Mass care sheltering can involve living with many people in a confined space, which can be difficult and unpleasant. To avoid conflicts in the stressful situation, it is important to cooperate with shelter managers and others assisting them. Keep in mind that alcoholic beverages and weapons are forbidden in emergency shelters and smoking is restricted.

Search for open shelters by texting SHELTER and a Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA). Ex: Shelter 01234 (standard rates apply)

Learn more by visiting: http://www.disasterassistance.gov/

The safest locations to seek shelter vary by hazard. Be Informed about the sheltering suggestions for each hazard.

There may be situations, depending on your circumstances and the nature of the disaster, when it's simply best to stay where you are and avoid any uncertainty outside by “sheltering in place.

The length of time you are required to shelter may be short, such as during a tornado warning, or long, such as during a winter storm or a pandemic. It is important that you stay in shelter until local authorities say it is safe to leave. Additionally, you should take turns listening to radio broadcasts and maintain a 24-hour safety watch.

Are you ready to Bug Out or Bunker in? Are you ready to Bug Out or Bunker in?

During extended periods of sheltering, you will need to manage water and food supplies to ensure you and your family have the required supplies and quantities. Think about Managing Water and Managing Food.

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