UW Emergency Management

December 6, 2016

Prepare in a year: Shelter-in-Place


Sometimes the best way to stay safe in an emergency is to get inside and stay put inside a building or a vehicle.

Get Inside, Stay Inside

  • Get inside – Bring your loved ones, your emergency supplies, and your pets.
  • Find a safe spot – The exact spot will depend on the type of emergency.
  • Stay put – until officials say that it is safe to leave.

Stay in Touch

Send a text message to your emergency contact. Let them know where you are, how you are doing, and if anyone in your family is not with you.

Continue to listen to the radio station or local TV stations for updates. Do not leave your shelter unless authorities have said it is safe.

Staying Put in Your Vehicle or Public Transportation

In some emergencies, you might be in between work and home or another destination and it is safer to stay in your vehicle or on public transportation than to continue driving/ riding. If you are very close to home, work or a public building go there immediately and go inside. If you can’t get indoors quickly and safely:

  • Pull over to the side of the road – stop in a safe location.
  • Stay where you are – until officials have said it is safe to get back on the road.
  • Listen to the radio and social media for updates and additional instructions – even after it is safe to start driving again continue to listen to the radio and follow any additional instructions from officials.

Sealing a Room

In some types of emergencies, you will need to stop outside air from coming inside. If officials tell you to “seal the room”, you need to:

  • shelter_in_place-seal-roomTurn off things that move air, like fans and air conditioners.
  • Get yourself and anyone with you and pets inside one room that you can easily seal off, and bring your emergency supplies with you if they are close.
  • Block air from entering the room you are in.
  • Listen to radio stations, local TV stations, and social media for further instructions.