Paper Cut Outs of People and a House


Response incorporates all actions taken to save lives and protect property during an emergency. When disaster strikes, there may be a variety of actions that must be taken to keep you and your family safe, such as following evacuation or shelter-in-place procedures. Tips and references for these actions are outlined on this page.


An evacuation may be necessary when the threat inside is greater than the threat outside. If an evacuation seems reasonable based on best judgement, immediately exit the home/building using the nearest exit. It is important to remember the following during evacuation from a building:

  • Avoid unnecessary detours during evacuation, such as returning to an office or room to obtain personal belongings.
  • Never ignore an alarm or assume a false alarm unless it is clearly stated that the alarm is a test.
  • Never use an elevator to exit during an evacuation with potential or actual fire.
  • Keep walkways and roadways clear for emergency vehicles.
  • Once outside, never re-enter the building/home until told to do so by City officials.

All evacuations are unique to the surrounding situation. Some may be short-lived, while others may require temporary relocation to an alternative location. For more information on incident-specific evacuation guidelines, please visit Ready Gov Evacuation website.

Shelter in Place

Shelter-in-place procedures may be used when it is deemed dangerous or unreasonable to evacuate the home/building. Citizens should use best judgement to determine the safest location for them and their families during a disaster. For specific information pertaining to shelter-in place procedures, refer to the FEMA Shelter in Place Guide (PDF).FEMA Shelter in Place Guide