Shelter-in-Place Program Overview
In different kinds of emergencies, people need to be able to protect themselves in different ways. One such protective strategy involves “sheltering in place,” which means staying inside whatever building you happen to be in at the time of the emergency or, if you are outside, going into an undamaged building nearby and staying there for a period that may last hours to several days.
The National Capital Region (NCR) recently completed a Behavioral Analysis under the FEMA Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program (RCPGP). The recent NCR survey of public behaviors during a dirty bomb attack conducted by the University of Virginia showed a significant portion of those surveyed will choose to shelter in place in a catastrophic event. Additionally, research has shown that sheltering in place knowledge and implementation can occur in the workplace, schools, daycare facilities, and households with the appropriate engagement and involvement of leaders and the public.
As a result of the study, the NCR launched a new grassroots approach that is designed to engage people in their own emergency preparedness and to educate the public and private sector on effective shelter in place preparation.
Based on concepts from the "Redefining Readiness" program developed by the New York Academy of Medicine program, this project is implementing a series of workplace and educational institution training efforts where facilitator-led participatory group sessions will create awareness and self-initiated preparedness among participants. This process complements the public preparedness outreach work that has been done in the region.