Preparing to Stay Put Safely

As part of your disaster planning, consider the situations that may require you to stay where you are.

  • Storms with extreme winds, such as hurricanes and tornadoes

  • Biological or chemical accident or attack

  • Earthquake

  • Power outage

Assess your risk of these kinds of emergencies and plan accordingly. If your risk of extreme wind is high, for example, and you have the resources to construct a safe room, then start the planning and building as soon as you can. FEMA has a complete and up to date planning and construction guide (see below). If your risk is low or constructing a safe room is not an option for you, plan now a safe shelter-in-place response. Review the disaster warning Sheltering in Place situations. Take steps today so that if you have to shelter-in-place in the future, you will be prepared.

Regardless of your risk of various kinds of emergencies, it is important to assemble an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit of supplies you may need in the event of an emergency. Determine what items you will need to stay safe for at least 3 days. Assemble this “what if kit,” including:

  • Potable water, plus water for sanitation purposes

  • Battery run/crank/solar radio

  • Flashlights

  • Extra batteries

  • At least a 3-day supply of non-perishable foods that meet your specific dietary needs, and a manual can opener

  • Emergency contact list

  • First aid kit

  • Cell phone

  • Warm clothing, shoes/boots

  • Essential medicines

If you have a disability, refer to Artists with Disabilities, and include any additional items from the Emergency Supply List.

Remember: Just because you made your plan doesn’t mean that now you can forget it. Review and refine your disaster plan with your employees and family at least twice a year.

Click the image below to go to the FEMA web page to download the publication, Taking Shelter from the Storm: Building a Safe Room for Your Home or Small Business. The publication includes construction plans and cost estimates.

Having a safe room built for your home or small business can help protect you and your family or employees from injury or death caused by the dangerous forces of extreme winds such as tornadoes and hurricanes. The information provided will help your assess your risk and determine the best type of safe room for your needs.

Federal Emergency Management Agency
Extremely helpful information for disaster-specific information, before, during, and after an emergency

Institute for Business and Home Safety
Useful, clear information on emergency preparedness for your workplace

Washington Military Department Emergency Management Division
Detailed information on disaster planning