Prepare shelter in place


Get Prepared

Are You Ready?

A natural disaster can strike at any time, without warning. Learn how to make an emergency kit and plan, and protect yourself, your family, and your property.

Get Alertable

NSEM is using Alertable to send out alerts for emergencies such as severe weather and natural disasters.

Shelter in place to stay safe

During certain types of emergencies — such as a hazardous material spill — you may be directed to shelter in place or stay indoors until any danger has passed. 


The goal of sheltering in place is to reduce the movement of air into and out of a building until either the hazard has passed or other emergency actions can be taken. Sheltering in place has been shown to be the most effective response during the first few hours of a substance release where the public would be at higher risk outdoors. 

Tips to shelter in place

Select a room to shelter in place

  • Select an interior room with the fewest windows or vents, such as a storage room or hallway.
  • Avoid rooms with mechanical equipment, such as ventilation blowers or pipes.
  • Ensure the room has adequate space for everyone to be able to sit down. 
  • Avoid overcrowding by selecting several rooms.
  • Ideally, select a room with an adjoining bathroom.

Prepare a shelter-in-place kit

Your shelter-in-place kit should contain:

  • A battery-operated (include batteries) or hand-crank AM/FM radio.
  • Plastic sheeting, pre-cut to size to cover any windows, doors and vents.
  • Duct tape or other wide tape to seal cracks around doors, windows and vents.
  • Towels to block the bottoms of each door in the room.
  • Alternative lighting, such as flashlights, headlights, lanterns.
  • Bottled water for drinking and for wetting towels.
  • Ready to eat, non-perishable snack food.
  • First-aid kit.
  • Paper, pens, and a list of important phone numbers.

Stay informed

During an emergency, you will want to ensure you are sourcing information and receiving direction from official sources:

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