Staying Put/Evacuation

Staying Put / Shelter-in-Place

During some disasters, evacuating your home or business can put you at greater risk than staying put. In these situations, you should Shelter-In-Place.

What is Shelter-in-Place?

  • Shelter-In-Place means to take immediate shelter indoors, whether in your home, school, business, or public building.
  • It also may include additional precautions, such as turning off fans, air conditioning, and forced air heating systems during a contamination emergency. This action could significantly reduce the possibility of inside air contamination.

When Should I Shelter-In-Place?

  • Shelter-In-Place may be recommended when there is little time to react to an incident and it would be more dangerous to be outside.
  • If you are told to Shelter-In-Place by government officials, do so immediately. Make sure your family and pets are indoors.

Stay calm and immediately follow the protective measures recommended by your local governmental officials and emergency managers. You will be told when it is safe to resume normal activities.

For Additional Information


Evacuation occurs only when a serious threat to public safety exists. If you are told to evacuate by government officials, do so immediately.

Be Prepared

  • Plan several different locations where you could stay during an evacuation, such as the home of family or friends.
  • Know the evacuation plans for important locations (such as work or school).
  • Hotels fill up quickly during evacuations. Call ahead and make a reservation before you leave.
  • Keep phone numbers and maps for potential evacuation locations.
  • Wear sturdy shoes and appropriate clothing.
  • Take your Go Bag.
  • Lock your house.
  • Leave a note inside your house stating when you left and where you are going. This will provide needed information to law enforcement if they enter your home.
  • Use authorized routes.
  • When you are safe, call your out-of-area contact and let him or her know where you are.

For Additional Information

Emergency management content on the Butte-Silver Bow website was developed drawing heavily from and updating the excellent resources offered on the Ready Illinois website produced by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and partner organizations.