Shelter-in-place has been shown to be a safe response to some emergency or disaster events such as hazardous material releases.
In some situations, it is imperative that you stay indoors, especially if you see or smell a cloud, vapor, or smoke from the hazardous material. Always follow the direction of emergency responders in situations such as these.
In these cases, the City will send out information via its official social media platforms and through the local media requesting residents to shelter-in-place. This means you should go indoors and stay inside until further notice.
When sheltering in place, consider the following:
- Close all outside doors and every door inside the building
- Close all windows
- Do not use bathroom vents or kitchen vents
- Set thermostats so air conditioners, furnaces, and hot water heaters will not turn on
- Do not use fireplaces; close all dampers
- Do not operate your clothes dryer
- Shelter in an inside room away from windows and doors if possible
- Reduce or avoid smoking as it contaminates the air
- Do not leave the building until told to do so
- Follow the City's official social media platforms and tune in to local television or radio for information
- Do not use the telephone; you may tie up the phone lines
- Avoid using cell phones to limit network congestion - this allows for safety messages to be delivered and those who require assistance to be able to use their cell phones effectively
In some emergencies or disasters, the best way to maintain personal safety is to evacuate to a safe area. In these types of events, City officials will make every effort to keep residents informed. This may be done through the City's official social media platforms, local media, telephone alerts, pamphlets delivered door-to-door, and emergency services personnel may go door-to-door.
Preparing to evacuate
- Sometimes you may be given pre-notice of an evacuation and sometimes it may be immediate
- As part of your household emergency plan, consider preparing a portable emergency kit or list of items to take when you evacuate. These could include copies of important documents, cash, medication change of clothes, food items, etc.
- Follow the instructions provided by local authorities
- Tune in to local media outlets and follow the City's social media channels for the location of an evacuation reception centre
- If you have been instructed to and you are sure that you have time and know how to do it, shut off the water, gas, and electricity
- Attempt to make arrangements for pets - for emergency assistance with animal care, call the Animal Care Line at 204-945-8000
Things to do when evacuating
- Vacate your home when advised - ignoring a warning may jeopardize your safety and the safety of responders who may need to attempt a rescue later on
- Dress appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes
- Contact family members to tell them when you departed and where you went
- Take your 72-hour emergency kit, with your identification, copies of important papers, medications, some food or snacks, and weather-appropriate change of clothing
- Lock your house
- Follow the routes specified by local authorities - do not take shortcuts