What Does It Mean to Shelter in Place? | SERVPRO® of Downtown Charleston
If you’ve lived in Charleston for a while, you’ve probably been through a hurricane watch or warning. They’re not uncommon during the heart of hurricane season, which stretches from late May into November.
During these periods of heightened alert, there’s often a rush to determine whether you should remain where you are—and shelter in place—or evacuate.
Thankfully, meteorologists are usually able to provide local government officials with specific guidance related to current weather conditions that allows them to make this determination.
But it can still be confusing for the average person. So, let’s break down what “sheltering in place” looks like and how you can prepare yourself and your family ahead of time.
Steps to Take as a Storm Approaches
When a storm is predicted, whether it’s an intense thunderstorm, a major rainstorm with expected flooding or a hurricane, it’s important to take prompt action. Start here:
- Go inside. Seems self-explanatory, but you’d be surprised how many folks try to test the limits and stay outdoors when a storm is approaching. You will be safest inside a building, but if you can’t get to a building, sheltering inside your car is next best. During a storm, keep the car turned off and try not to touch anything metal.
- Close things up. To keep the weather outside of your home, you need to close up all windows and exterior doors. In certain conditions, such as when intense winds are expected, you may want to board up those windows or put shutters in place for extra protection from flying objects.
- Choose the safest spot in your home. Ideally, settle your family into a comfortable spot on the lowest level of your home, in a space that’s free of windows. Bring your emergency kit and other necessities into the space so you won’t need to leave it often, if at all.
- Keep up-to-date on what’s happening. If cell service is still operational, you can check weather apps and other sources to determine the latest information about the storm. Otherwise, use the battery-operated weather radio you should have in your emergency kit to keep you in the know.
- Stay in place until officials say it’s OK to leave. Once the storm has passed, even while you’re still waiting for the all-clear, you can text or call loved ones to let them know your current status.
The storm has passed, but your home suffered damage. What should you do next? Call SERVPRO—we’re available 24/7 to get the restoration process started!