The following is from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).

Shelter in Place Instructions in the Event of a Hurricane

“Shelter-in-Place is a standard protective action utilized in Emergency Management,” states MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz. “It is most often used during an event in which hazardous materials have been accidentally released into the atmosphere, but also during other dangerous conditions, such as hurricanes, flooding, blizzards, or law enforcement activity when it is safest to remain indoors.”

If a hurricane is ever upon New England, state or local Public Safety Officials may instruct you to ‘Shelter-in-Place’. As with an evacuation, you could be alerted in a variety of ways to a Shelter-in-Place request. They could include:
  • Local notification systems such as “Reverse 9-1-1 type” systems
  • Local notifications from public safety vehicles public address announcements or door to door notifications
  • Commercial media
  • MEMA’s Ping4 smartphone app
  • MEMA’s Twitter or Facebook accounts or the social media accounts of a public safety agency in your community.
  • The Emergency Alert System (EAS) via radio and television.
  • Wireless Emergency Alerts
  • All Hazards National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio
  • U.S. Coast Guard Marine Broadcast
  • A message on Teletypewriters (TTY)

Planning for Shelter-in-Place

  • Assemble an Emergency Kit to keep in your home. These items and supplies may be necessary during a during a shelter-in-place when you are not able to leave your home
  • If you undergo routine medical treatments or receive home health services, work with your service provider in advance to understand options during an emergency where you could not leave your home and service providers could not come to your home
  • Install hurricane shutters or prepare pre-drilled plywood sheets to protect windows. (Masking tape does not work.)
  • Learn how to shut off any systems that involve air handling in case you are asked to turn them off, including:
    • Air conditioners
    • Fans
    • Forced hot air heating systems
    • Kitchen and bath exhaust fans
    • Other sources of outside air

If You Are Asked to Shelter-in-Place

  • Bring all family members and pets indoors. Remain indoors, preferably in a room in the center of the home with the fewest windows and door, until instructed otherwise
  • Close and lock all windows and doors to ensure a tight seal
  • Close drapes, blinds and window shades
  • Do not call your 9-1-1 unless you have an emergency. Call 2-1-1 for information or questions
  • Stay tuned to your Emergency Alert System radio station or other news media to get updated information
  • Locate your Emergency Kit and keep it nearby in case you need it
  • Since emergency conditions can change quickly, be prepared in case you need to leave your home or are asked to evacuate
  • If you are in your vehicle and instructed to ‘Shelter in Place’ and are close to your home, workplace or a public building, go there immediately

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is the state agency responsible for coordinating federal, state, local, voluntary and private resources during emergencies and disasters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

MEMA provides leadership to:
  • Develop plans for effective response to all hazards disasters or threats
  • Train emergency personnel to protect the public
  • Provide information to the citizenry
MEMA also provides assistance to individuals, families, businesses and communities to mitigate against, prepare for, and respond to and recover from emergencies, both natural and man-made.

For additional information about MEMA and Preparedness, go to the MEMA website. Also, continue to follow MEMA updates on Twitter and Facebook. Download the free Ping4alert! app to your Smartphone to receive important weather alerts and emergency messages from MEMA. Easy instructions are available at MEMA website.