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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.

For example:

  • 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 area.
  • 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 Protective Actions.

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 certain areas.

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?

First:
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.

Next:
Review these links for simple instructions on how to Shelter-in-Place:

Then:

  • 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.

Further Information

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 Actions you may be directed to take during an emergency.

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New Jersey Office of Emergency Management
P. O. Box 7068
Trenton, NJ 08628

 

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