In times of major disaster events such as earthquakes, families are often displaced from their homes because the structure is unsafe. Shelters are set up to take in displaced persons during a disaster event. In other disaster events, it may be necessary for residents to remain in their homes or at their business.
Emergency sheltering guidelines are established by the American Red Cross. The City of Kirkland has a working relationship with the Red Cross in sheltering planning and management. Several Kirkland community members are trained in shelter management.
In the event the City or Red Cross establishes an emergency shelter for disaster victims, information on the location, hours of operations and rules will be made available under Shelters
on the Active Incident Information page, on the American Red Cross
, and distributed via media (TV, social media, radio and newspaper).
The Office of Emergency Management has identified buildings within the City of Kirkland that could be used as emergency shelters. It is not possible to publicly predesignate these buildings as they may not be deemed safe following a disaster.
Some Shelter Basics
- Identification required
- Check in/out required
- Meals may be provided
- Pets other than service animals may not be allowed in the shelter but pet shelters will be available nearby
Shelter In Place
Depending on the situation, there are times where it might simply be best to remain where you are - home, work, school - and avoid potential outside dangers. In such cases, use common sense to determine whether or not staying put is the safest option for you and your family. The City might also instruct you to shelter yourself within your home or business premises. This is called “shelter in place” or "staying put." Below are the suggested guideline from Ready.gov for staying put:
- Bring your family and pets inside.
- Lock doors, close windows, air vents and fireplace dampers.
- Turn off fans, air conditioning and forced air heating systems.
- Take your emergency supply kit unless you have reason to believe it has been contaminated.
- Go into an interior room with few windows, if possible.
- Seal all windows, doors and air vents with 2-4 mm thick plastic sheeting and duct tape. Consider measuring and cutting the sheeting in advance to save time.
- Cut the plastic sheeting several inches wider than the openings and label each sheet.
- Duct tape plastic at corners first and then tape down all edges.
- Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to seal gaps so that you create a barrier between yourself and any contamination.
- Local authorities may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for official news and instructions as they become available.