If evacuation is not necessary and your residence can provide a safe environment during a storm or other emergency situation, then you may want to take shelter at your own home or that of a family member, neighbor or friend. If your special needs require assistance for day-to-day tasks, make sure you have a caregiver, family member or friend that can stay with you at all times. Remember, the best place to shelter for every Floridian is outside the evacuation area, in a safe and secure structure. If your home meets safety requirements though, it may just be your best option.
Monitor the Situation
Oftentimes, emergencies or natural disasters can go from bad to worse in a very short time. It is very important to monitor the situation on radio or television news reports in the event an evacuation is ordered. If local authorities do order an evacuation, remember it is in your best interest to do so immediately. Visit the Evacuation and Shelters section of the Web site for important evacuation information.
Your Emergency Kit should be compatible for both an in-place sheltering and an evacuation. At a minimum, your kit should include all your daily necessities and basic resources that would allow you to live on your own for 3 to 7 days. For a detailed listing of items to include in your Emergency Kit, click here.
Although your home can be a safe place to ride out an emergency, there are potential hidden dangers that may not be obvious on first glance.
- If necessary, take refuge in an interior hallway or smaller room with no windows, such as a closet near load-bearing walls
- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and only use hand cranked, solar powered or battery-operated lamps or flashlights
- Be sure to leave a clear path to exit in case of a fire
- If you need assistance getting out of your building and rely on an elevator, make sure you have a way to leave your home before you decide to shelter in-place
- Make sure there are other exits such as stairs, windows or ramps that you could use if the electricity goes out and the elevator does not work
- Have a list of personal contacts you could call on a cell phone that could help you evacuate if you need to leave your home or building and need assistance
- Prepare for several different types of disasters (fire, floods, hurricanes, acts of terrorism, etc.) and determine the safest place in your home for each emergency