Preparing to Shelter in Place: Surviving by Staying Put

Shelter in place: A yellow caution road sign with the words "Are you ready?"
Are you ready to survive in your home for at least a week if authorities ask that you shelter in place?

It’s important to be prepared for unexpected emergencies. During severe weather or other types of disasters, you may be advised to shelter in place. This means you’ll need to stay where you are until it is safe to leave. Thankfully, this doesn’t occur very often. If it does, you should be prepared to survive in your home for about a week.

What Should I Expect?

Depending on the reason you have been told to shelter in place, you may be instructed to:

  • Take shelter in a room that has few or no doors or windows
  • Seal all doors and windows
  • Turn off ventilation systems
  • Turn off utilities
  • Keep your emergency supply kit with you

What Should You Have Ready?

Here is a list of supplies you should keep on hand for emergency use. They should be easily accessible and you should periodically check to update anything that may expire.

Get Notified

Sign up for Albemarle County’s local Community Emergency Alert system for severe weather and other emergencies, or learn more about the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Emergency Alert System.

  • Food and related items:
    • 1 gallon of drinking water per person, per day
    • Ready-to-eat canned and packaged food that is non-perishable
    • Manual can opener, all-purpose knife, scissors and utensils
  • Personal items (clothes, medicine, etc.):
    • Sturdy shoes, heavy gloves, warm clothes, Mylar or thermal blankets and lightweight rain gear
    • Cash and copies of important documents (in a waterproof container)
    • OTC pain medication, cold and cough medicine
    • Prescription medication needed by all family members
    • Personal hygiene items
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Special care items needed by any family members
    • Supplies for any pets in the home
  • Tools and other necessities:
    • First aid kit and thermometer
    • Box of disposable non-latex gloves
    • Box of face masks
    • Flashlight, battery-operated AM/FM radio and battery-operated alarm clock
    • Phone that doesn’t rely on electricity
    • Extra batteries, portable chargers (keep charged)
    • Whistle and signal flare
    • Waterproof matches
    • Duct tape and plastic sheeting
    • Shut-off wrench, pliers and a shovel
    • Heavy plastic bags and ties
    • Medium-sized buckets with tight lid
    • Paper towels, tissues and toilet paper
    • Bleach and other disinfectant cleaning supplies
    • Paper, pens, pencils, books, games

 

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