shelter in place
Health & Wellness

How to Prepare to Shelter in Place

By on 08/22/2018

During severe weather and other types of disasters, you may be advised to shelter in place. This means you’ll need to stay where you are until you are told it is safe to leave. Thankfully, this is not a situation that occurs very often, but if it does, you should be prepared to survive in your home for about a week.

Depending on the reason you have been told to shelter in place, you may be instructed to:

  • Take shelter in a room that has few or no doors or windows
  • Seal all doors and windows
  • Turn off ventilation systems
  • Turn off utilities
  • Keep your emergency supply kit with you

Here is a list of supplies you should keep on hand for emergency use. They should be easily accessible and you should periodically check to update anything that may expire.

  • 1 gallon of drinking water per person per day
  • Non-perishable, ready-to-eat canned and packaged food
  • Manual can opener, all-purpose knife, scissors, utensils
  • Sturdy shoes, heavy gloves, warm clothes, Mylar or thermal blankets, lightweight rain gear
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Special care items needed by any family members
  • Supplies for any pets in the home
  • Prescription medication needed by all family members
  • OTC pain medication, cold and cough medicine
  • First aid kit and thermometer
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Box of disposable non-latex gloves
  • Box of face masks
  • Flashlight, battery-operated AM/FM radio and battery-operated alarm clock
  • Phone that doesn’t rely on electricity
  • Extra batteries, portable chargers (keep charged)
  • Whistle, signal flare
  • Waterproof matches
  • Duct tape and plastic sheeting
  • Shut-off wrench, pliers, shovel
  • Paper towels, tissues, toilet paper
  • Heavy plastic bags and ties
  • Bleach and other disinfectant cleaning supplies
  • Medium-sized buckets with tight lid
  • Paper, pens, pencils, books, games
  • Cash and copies of important documents (in a waterproof container)


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Date Last Reviewed: July 24, 2018

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

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Perspectives highlights the expertise and services provided by the physicians, specialists, nurses and other healthcare providers at Einstein Healthcare Network. Through this blog, we share information about new treatments and technologies, top-tier clinical teams and the day-to-day interactions that reinforce our commitment to delivering quality care with compassion. Here, you will also find practical advice for championing your health and wellness. The Einstein Healthcare Network "Terms of Use" apply to all content on this blog.