Plan & Prepare
Protective Actions: Sheltering-In-Place
What does it mean to Shelter-in-Place?
To Shelter-in-Place means to remain in your home or workplace
during an emergency, and protect yourself there.
While Sheltering-in-Place you should listen to your local radio or
TV stations for the latest updates. Emergency management officials
may use radio broadcasts to give you further instructions. They will
also let you know when the emergency has passed.
Sheltering-in-Place is the first action you should take during most
types of emergency.
If an emergency is taking place and you are unsure what to do ,
first Shelter-in-Place. Then listen to the radio for instructions from
emergency management officials.
- During a hurricane or tropical storm threat, Sheltering-in-Place
is often the safest course of action for individuals who are not
in a storm surge or flood-prone area. Because of hazardous weather
and road conditions, you will be safer at home than on the road.
You will also help keep the roads clear for emergency workers,
and for those who may have to evacuate due to the danger in their
- If radiation or a hazardous chemical has been released into
the environment, Sheltering-in-Place will often be your safest
course of action. This will depend on how close you are to the
emergency, which way the wind is blowing, and the nature of the
contaminant that has been released.
How will I know
if it is time to Shelter-in-Place?
Your local, county or State emergency management officials will
notify your neighborhood of the need to Shelter-in-Place or take other
They will do this via Emergency Alert System messages on local radio
and TV. They may also alert entire areas via community notification
systems such as “Reverse 911,” which sends messages
to home telephones. Officials may even travel with bullhorns in
Remember: Your single greatest information source before, during and
after an emergency will be your battery-powered radio.
Also remember: If an emergency is taking place and you
are unsure what to do, first Shelter-in-Place. Then listen to the
radio for instructions from emergency management officials.
If you are unable to listen to the radio or believe you may miss these
messages, make arrangements with someone in your neighborhood. Make sure
someone will reach out to you, to keep you informed.
How do I Shelter-in-Place?
Have you created your Emergency Supply Kit, including three
days’ worth of food and a battery-powered radio? Go
to the NJOEM
Basic Preparedness page and follow the Three Steps to Safety.
Review these links for simple instructions on how to Shelter-in-Place:
- Decide which rooms in your home or workplace will be the best
to use for Sheltering-in-Place.
- Identify any additional supplies you may need.
When it is time to Shelter-in-Place:
- Act calmly. It is best not to rush.
- Remember: Instructions to shelter-in-place are usually provided
for durations of a few hours, not days or weeks.
- Remember: Your local public safety officials are the
best source of information. Listen for their instructions on a
battery-powered radio or TV. Follow their instructions during and
after emergencies for information about sheltering, food, water
and clean-up methods.
Follow this link if you have Disabilities
or other Special Needs. Individuals with special
needs often require additional time and assistance to prepare
for a disaster.
Follow this link to learn about the other Protective
may be directed to take during an emergency.