Thursday, August 22, 2013

Always Know Your Nearest Emergency Shelter

During an emergency is the last time you want to be figuring out where to evacuate to. Ideally, you will have a non-government-issued place to evacuate to, but that is a different lesson for a different day. Today, I want you to spend 5 minutes locating the emergency shelters near your home, workplace, children's schools, and anywhere else you spend a significant amount of time.

Finding shelters is so easy that you have no excuse not to do it. You should find both public (government) and private (usually religious) options.

The quickest way is to simple ask Dr. Google. I used the simple phrases "Emergency shelter in TOWN STATE." If a situation is building, you could run searches specific to tornado shelters, hurricane shelters, earthquake shelters, etc.

If the shelter closest to you is privately-run, contact them to learn about their policies. Does it only serve certain ages or only people will certain medical issues? Are complicated medical issues not allowed? Are pets allowed; if so, what supplies should you bring? Is the center open only during certain emergencies or only after other shelters have filled to capacity? When do they normally open when an emergency approaches?

In short, can you stay there? What should you bring and what can't you bring?

If Gd forbid you should ever need this information, you will be so thankful for this 5-10 minutes of research.

Once you choose potential shelters and backups, place copies of their information and maps on the fridge, in all cars, briefcases, and backpacks. It should always be accessible when you need it, and the map will be helpful in case GPS systems aren't functioning for whatever reason. As a backup, store a picture or PDF of this information inside your phone or other cloud device.

Remember that it's hurricane season! Watch the news every so often.


  1. For some more guidance, check out--

    One thing to remember--kosher food! While most agencies will try, there is no guarantee that a shelter will have kosher meals.

    1. I didn't even think about that because I assumed there wouldn't be any kosher food at all! Outside of NYC and maybe LA, I doubt you'll find kosher food in any shelter. I plan to cover evacuating supplies later, which will include kosher food options.

      Thanks for posting the link!