If You Are Asked to Evacuate
In certain types of disasters ... hurricanes, floods, fires, chemical or hazardous material spills as well as terrorist attacks ... the local authorities may ask you to leave your home. If they do, they have a good reason to make this request. You should heed their advice immediately. Listen to your radio or television and follow the instructions of local emergency officials. Here are some simple tips:
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and sturdy shoes so you can be protected as much as possible.
- Take your disaster supply kit.
- Take your pets with you; do not leave them behind. Because pets are not permitted in public shelters, follow your plan to go to a relative's or friend's home, or find a "pet-friendly hotel."
- Your local authorities will provide you with the most accurate information specific to an event in your area. Stay turned to local radio and/or television.
- If you have time call your family contact to tell them where you are going and when you expect to arrive.
- Lock your home.
- Use travel routes specified by local authorities -- don't use shortcuts because certain areas may be impassable or dangerous.
- Stay away from any downed power lines.
If You Are Told to Shelter In Place
If you are advised to "shelter in place," you need to remain inside your home or office and protect yourself there.
- Close and lock all windows and exterior doors.
- You may be asked to turn off all fans, heating and air conditioning systems as well as close your fireplace damper.
- Get your disaster supply kit, and monitor the radio.
- Go to an interior room without windows that is above ground. (In a chemical threat, an above-ground location is preferable because some chemicals are heavier than air, and some may seep into basements.)
- Keep listening to your radio until you are told all is safe, or you are told to evacuate. Local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in your community.