Facts About Evacuation

Some kinds of chemical accidents or attacks, such as a train derailment or a terrorist incident, may make staying put dangerous. In such cases, it may be safer for you to evacuate, or leave the immediate area. You may need to go to an emergency shelter after you leave the immediate area.

How to know if you need to evacuate

You will hear from the local police, emergency coordinators, or government if there is an “elevated” or “severe” threat alert, you should pay attention to radio and/or television broadcasts so you will know right away if an evacuation order is made for your area.

Every emergency is different and during any emergency people may have to evacuate or to shelter in place depending on where they live.

What to do

Act quickly and follow the instructions of local emergency coordinators, such as law enforcement personnel, fire departments, or local leaders.

Every situation can be different, so local coordinators could give you special instructions to follow for a particular situation.

If in the open and close proximity during an actual chemical release; stay calm and move as quickly as possible to a safer area upwind of the danger area.

Local emergency coordinators may direct people to evacuate homes or offices and go to an emergency shelter. If so, emergency coordinators will tell you how to get to the shelter. If you have children in school, they may be sheltered at the school. You should not try to get to the school if the children are being sheltered there. Transporting them from the school will put them, and you, at increased risk.

The emergency shelter will have most supplies that people need. The emergency coordinators will tell you which supplies to bring with you, but you may also want to prepare a portable supply kit. Be sure to bring any medications you are taking.

If you have time, call a friend or relative in another location to tell them where you are going and that you are safe. Local telephone lines may be jammed in an emergency, so you should plan ahead to have an out-of-area contact with whom to leave messages. If you do not have private transportation, make plans in advance of an emergency to identify people who can give you a ride.

Evacuating and sheltering in this way may keep you safer than if you stayed at home or at your workplace. You will most likely not be in the shelter for more than a few hours. Emergency coordinators will let you know when it is safe to leave the shelter and anything you may need to do to make sure it is safe to re-enter your home.

Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH). More detailed Chemical Agent specific information may be found at http://emergency.cdc.gov


The information contained in the attached documents is for information purposes only, and compiled from various sources in order to raise general awareness. Read the disclaimer.