FEMA's COVID-19 Supplement for Planning Considerations Evacuation and Shelter-in-Place

FEMA Releases COVID-19 Supplement to Planning Consideration: Evacuations and Shelter-in-Place

This document supports state, local, tribal, and territorial partners in planning for evacuation and/or shelter-in-place protective actions.1 It summarizes characteristics that jurisdictions should consider when planning for evacuation and/or shelter-in-place operations and builds on Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG) 101: Developing and Maintaining Emergency Operations Plans by providing unique considerations for development of evacuation and shelter in-place plans.2 In addition, this document contains job aids and checklists that jurisdictions can customize to meet their needs for all disasters regardless of scale.

Protective actions such as evacuation and shelter-in-place have become more important to emergency management operations in previous years, requiring a more comprehensive look at concepts and principles that plans should be built around and considerations that are critical to ensuring effective implementation, this document aims to provide this. Over eight million people across the nation were affected by evacuation orders in 2017, including:

  • Flooding in February near the Oroville Dam in California caused an evacuation of over 180,000 people
  • Hurricane Harvey struck Texas in August and resulted in the evacuation of over 780,000 people
  • Hurricane Irma struck Florida in September and resulted in evacuation orders covering a record 6.8 million residents
  • In October, wildfires in California forced the evacuation of over 100,000 residents.
  • These disasters illustrate that the use of evacuation and shelter-in-place as protective actions are commonplace regardless of the threat or hazard. The challenge is to tailor the protective actions to best address a variety of factors, including a community’s demographics, location, infrastructure, resources, authorities, and decision-making processes.

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