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Evacuation or Shelter-in-Place

There are emergency situations where you may have to remain inside your home, school or office for your own safety (this is called shelter-in-place) or situations where you might be asked to leave (this is called evacuation).

For example, if there is a hazardous material spill on your street, you could be asked to stay indoors. However, a flood might mean you will have to leave your home and maybe go to a reception center.

Listed below are steps you should take in either of these cases.


  • Bring your pets inside.
  • Close all windows and exterior doors, as well as the fireplace damper.
  • Turn off all fans, heating and air-conditioning systems to avoid drawing in air from the outside.
  • Take out your emergency kit and make sure your battery radio is working.
  • Keep yourself updated by monitoring the local radio stations.
  • Please wait inside your home for further instructions from emergency officials.


  • Monitor the local radio stations and follow instructions from the emergency officials.
  • Pets are not allowed in some reception centers, so plan in advance for a pet-friendly location.
  • Take your emergency kit with you, including essential medications.
  • If you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity.
  • If you have time, leave a note telling others when you left and where you went.
  • Lock your home.
  • Do not take shortcuts or alternate routes that could put you and/or your family at risk.
  • Register at a reception center if one is designated.