Evacuation Info


If directed by public safety officials to shelter-in-place or evacuate, take immediate action. The vast majority of emergencies require you to stay put and shelter-in-place.

Before an emergency…

  • Identify local radio and television stations where you can find news and emergency alerts. Learn more here.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency’s (DEMA) shelter-in-place, evacuation, and sheltering information so you know what to expect.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Delaware Division of Transportation (DelDOT) evacuation route maps. They are at this link.
  • If you are directed by public safety officials to evacuate, before the emergency coordinate with friends and family outside the area for a comfortable place to go rather than staying at a shelter.

When sheltering-in-place

  • If you are advised by local officials to shelter-in-place, remain inside your home or office.
  • Close and lock all windows and exterior doors.
  • Get your disaster supplies kit and make sure the radio is working.
  • Go to an interior room without windows.
  • Listen to your radio or television until you are told it is safe or you are told to evacuate. Local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in your community.
  • In the case of a chemical threat, an above-ground location is preferable because some chemicals are heavier than air and may seep into basements even if the windows are closed. Turn off all fans and heating and air conditioning systems. Close the fireplace damper.
  • Only seal off doors, windows, and vents if advised to do so by emergency management authorities. Listen to emergency broadcast information and carefully follow instructions regarding sealing your home or business facility.

When evacuating

  • If there is an immediate risk in your home, such as smelling gas or smoke or seeing fire, evacuate everyone from the home immediately. From a safe location, call 9-1-1 and report the incident.
  • Listen to the radio, monitor your cell phone, and watch local news and weather channels.
  • Heed all warnings and notification messages from local public safety officials who will notify you if you should shelter-in-place or evacuate, when to leave, and what routes to take.
  • Wear sturdy shoes and layered clothing.
  • Take your emergency kit.
  • Although emergency shelters may be able to provide some basic supplies, it’s a good idea to take your own items, such as a blanket, pillow, air mattress, towel, washcloth, diapers, food, and supplies for infants.
  • If you have a pet, make sure he/she is wearing a collar and has a carrier labeled with your name and the pet’s name. Take food, water, and medications.
  • Call your emergency family contact to tell him/her where you are going and when you expect to arrive.
  • If directed by public safety officials, shut off water and electricity before leaving. Leave natural gas service ON unless public safety officials direct you otherwise.
  • Lock your home.
  • Use travel routes specified by local authorities. Don’t use shortcuts; certain areas may be impassable or dangerous.
  • Stay away from downed power lines.

Once you have created your plans, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!