Preparedness Empowers You

It saves lives, property, and time.

Emergencies happen, often with little or no notice. By taking action beforehand you can be prepared for any emergency.

Be Ready Navy!
I am. Are you?

Sheltering-in-Place at a Navy Installation

Sheltering-in-place may be necessary in Navy Installation Family Housing (U.S. Navy photo by Chris Carson/Released) 110809-N-PA772-002
U.S. Navy Photo by MC1 Monique Hilley/Released 120903-N-RL694-011

In the event of an emergency, Navy regional and installation emergency management organizations have plans and procedures to direct personnel to evacuate or take some form of shelter. For nonessential and nonemergency personnel, the preference is generally evacuation. In specific instances, evacuation or moving to a civilian shelter or designated place is more dangerous than remaining where you are, such as with short- or no-notice emergencies, including hazardous materials events. In these instances, you may be directed to shelter-in-place.

Sheltering-in-place means to take temporary protection in a structure or vehicle—typically your workplace or residence.

Installation procedures designate which responsible party or office will order personnel to shelter-in-place and for how long the order is expected to be in effect. Each installation is responsible for developing Shelter-in-Place Management Teams in designated high-risk or high-occupancy buildings or areas. You should plan ahead by having an emergency supply kit with needed food and supplies in the locations you spend most of your time.

How to Prepare

  • Be informed. Know how to turn off your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems without damaging the components.
  • 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.
  • Know how to close and secure doors, windows, vents, and other exterior openings quickly.
  • Identify potential interior space for sheltering-in-place.
  • Make family emergency plan, including an emergency communication plan, to cope with possible separation of family members.
  • Build and have an emergency kit ready.

How You Will Be Notified

Navy Installations (worldwide) use the WAAN as an effective and reliable mass notification system to maximize the potential to warn and direct affected personnel during a crisis through multiple systems:

  • Giant Voice (GV)—A voice announcing system using exterior speakers, commonly termed "Giant Voice"
  • Interior Voice (IV)—Interior speakers or sirens
  • Residential route alerting—Messages announced from vehicles with loudspeakers
  • Computer Desktop Notification System (CDNS)—An administrative broadcast across Navy computer networks that overrides current applications, thereby reaching all Navy users almost instantly
  • Automated Telephone Notification System (ATNS)—Interactive, community notification systems capable of providing voice and/or data messages to multiple receivers—telephones, cellular phones, email, SMS (Text), etc.

(Any and all may be used by your particular installation.)

NOTE: ATNS is only as effective as the data provided in the WAAN—Navy can’t alert you, if they can’t find you!

Actions to Take When Temporarily Sheltering-in-Place

  • Bring everyone safely inside to an interior room or one with as few windows and doors as possible.
  • Turn off all heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
  • Close and secure all doors, windows, vents, and other exterior openings.
  • Have an emergency supply kit accessible.
  • Listen to the radio or television for further instructions.
  • When the “all clear” is announced, open windows and doors, turn on ventilation systems, and go outside until the building’s air has been exchanged with the outside air.
  • Once you are in a safe place, muster with your command if you are military or civilian personnel or a member of the selective reserves.

Steps to Follow for Sheltering-in-Place in a Vehicle

  • Close windows, vents, and HVAC
  • Drive away from visible gas/cloud
  • Tune into Emergency Alert System or radio
  • Wait for all-clear
  • Muster


Be Ready Navy—Be informed before, during, and after an incident; make a written family emergency plan; and build an emergency supply kit good for at least three days.

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