In the event of an emergency, Navy regional and installation emergency management organizations have plans and procedures to direct evacuation or movement to shelters. When time permits, the preferred protective strategy for nonessential and non-emergency personnel is evacuation, but in emergencies with only a moderate warning time, installation authorities may direct people to local, state, or host-nation shelters.
A shelter is a publicly identified, certified, supplied, staffed, and insured civilian facility where the endangered population may seek temporary protection for a limited duration. Navy regions and installations do not develop, maintain, or operate certified shelters. Instead, regions and installations coordinate shelter needs with appropriate state, local, host-nation, and private agencies. The American Red Cross is the principal U.S. resource for development, management, and operation of certified shelters. Certified shelters within the local community are preferred over safe haven facilities onboard an installation.
If you are directed to move to a shelter, there are a few things you should know:
- Even though shelters may provide water, food, medicines, and basic sanitary facilities, you should bring your emergency kit to ensure that your family has the items that meet its needs.
- Alcoholic beverages, weapons, and smoking are prohibited in all shelters.
- Shelters usually involve staying with many people in a close proximity, so it is important to cooperate with shelter managers and others assisting them.
- Depending on the situation and regulations of the shelter, pets may or may not be allowed, so ask the Installation Emergency Manager for clarification and/or restrictions if you are unclear. Ensure that you address the needs of your pets while at the shelter by bringing enough food and water to support their stay.
How to Prepare
- Be informed. Navy personnel with NMCI or OneNet access must self-register all home phones, cellular phones, and email addresses, etc. in the Wide Area Alert Network (WAAN) to receive notifications wherever they are.
- Take time to identify shelters in your area before an emergency. FEMA offers a mobile app that locates shelters in your area. Download the app to your phone.
- Make a written family emergency plan, including an emergency communication plan. It will prepare you to cope with possible separation of family members.
- Build in advance and take along an emergency kit that can sustain your family for at least three days.
Where to Find More Information
- American Red Cross—to find open shelters—http://www.redcross.org/find-help/shelter