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New, Illustrated Advice on Sheltering-in-Place Available

July 2021

Do you know where to go when disaster strikes? Sometimes the safest thing to do is to stay inside (shelter-in-place) and take protective actions based on the hazard. Check out FEMA’s new pictograms to learn where to go, what to do, and how long you should shelter-in-place for 10 types of hazards.

The pictograms show how to protect yourself in three types of buildings: manufactured or mobile homes, one- or two-story buildings, and multi-story buildings.

For example, if there’s a chemical hazard in your area, you should go to a small, interior room and protect yourself from the contaminated air by using duct tape to seal doors and vents for a very short period of time. If a tornado warning is issued, you would go to an interior room, and take the added precaution of covering your body to protect yourself from debris. If you are in a mobile home, however, you should always evacuate immediately to a safer, more sturdy building especially if tornadoes and hurricanes are expected to hit your area.

FEMA’s updated guidance offers detailed instructions and illustrations for sheltering-in-place for the following hazards:

  • Active shooter
  • Chemical hazard
  • Earthquake
  • Flooding/flash flooding
  • Hurricane
  • Nuclear/radiological hazard
  • Pandemic
  • Thunderstorm
  • Tornado
  • Winter storm

Learn how to stay safe wherever you are by downloading the Shelter-in-Place Pictogram Guidance and share with others. For more information about preparing for, keeping safe during, and recovering from disasters, visit FEMA’s Protective Actions Research page.

This article first appeared in the monthly Individual and Community Preparedness Newsletter. Subscribe here

Disclaimer: The reader recognizes that the federal government provides links and informational data on various disaster preparedness resources and events and does not endorse any non-federal events, entities, organizations, services, or products. Please let us know about other events and services for individual and community preparedness that could be included in future newsletters by contacting FEMA-prepare@fema.dhs.gov