Going to an Emergency Shelter
After a radiation emergency, emergency officials may advise you to evacuate to another area to avoid the radioactive plume or other unsafe conditions. Emergency shelters will be available for people who have been told to evacuate. Local authorities will tell you when to go to an emergency shelter, where the shelter is located, and the safest route for travel. They also will tell you if you should go to a community reception center first, before you proceed to the emergency shelter.
- Emergency shelters will be located away from areas with high levels of radiation.
- Local officials will tell you which route to take to avoid radioactive fallout or other hazards.
If you are evacuating to an emergency shelter, the shelter will provide water, food, essential medicines, and basic sanitary facilities. You should bring any medicines and prescriptions that you are taking, important papers, and a change of clothes. Other steps you can take are as follows:
- Plan to take an emergency supply kit with you so you will have the supplies you need. Emergency shelters can involve living with many people in a confined space, which can be difficult.
- Make a plan and prepare an emergency kit for your pets. Find out if your emergency shelter will accept pets. Typically, when shelters accommodate pets, the pets are housed in a separate area from people.
- Follow safety precautions when using public transportation to evacuate. If you have to travel away from your community to evacuate, follow safety precautions for travelers to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
- Try to deal with the emergency calmly and confidently to help children cope.
Locating Family or Friends
The American Red Cross has developed a website to let people within a disaster area tell their friends and loved ones outside of the affected region about their well-being.
For more information on locating family or friends after a disaster, visit https://emergency.cdc.gov/planning/.
For more information about planning for and going to an emergency shelter, visit FEMA’s ready.gov website.