Response is the actions taken to save lives and protect property from damage during an emergency - it is putting preparedness plans into action.

When disaster strikes you may need to take specific actions to remain safe. These include sheltering-in-place, implementing a lockdown, evacuating, or relocating to an emergency shelter. These terms and some basic "how-to" procedures are outlined below.

Why You Might Need to Shelter-in-Place

  • Acts of Violence/Terrorism
  • Chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants released accidentally or intentionally into the environment
  • Civil Disturbance
  • Various types of severe weather

Why You Might Need to Lockdown

  • Acts of Violence/Terrorism
  • Civil Disturbance

Why You Might Need to Evacuate from a Building

  • An internal chemical spill or gas leak
  • Bomb threat
  • Localized flooding
  • Suspicious mail
  • Visible smoke, vapor cloud, or fire (inside the building)

Why You Might Need to Evacuate from an Area

  • Forecast of severe weather to which your home is vulnerable
  • Hazardous materials release
  • Other involuntary or mandatory evacuation orders from the county
  • Widespread flooding (or forecast)

Response Activities You Should  Do

Response is the actions taken to save lives and protect property from damage during an emergency - it is putting preparedness plans into action. Here are some examples:

  • Shelter-in-Place

    • Call 911 and report the emergency, if appropriate.
    • Follow instructions from authorities if available to decide whether you should shelter-in-place or evacuate.
    • Follow your emergency plan.
    • In case of environmental release or threat:
    • Leave the electricity on.
    • Tape around doors, windows, and vents, and place wet towels at bottom of doors, in order to seal out fumes and gases.
    • Turn off air-exchange heating systems, air conditioners, and exhaust fans.
    • Use Wayne County Alerts and other sources to get information during the event. Sign up online to receive alerts.
  • Lockdown

    • Assist those with access and functional needs if safe to do so.
    • Clear hallways, bathrooms, and any area or room that cannot be thoroughly secured.
    • Do not panic - remain calm.
    • Follow all instructions from law enforcement personnel.
    • Instruct everyone in the room with you to stay low and away from windows and doors.
    • Lock all doors and windows immediately. If a door can't be locked, quickly block the door with heavy items.
    • Never open doors or windows unless ordered to do so by a verified public safety official. Always ask for documentation to confirm identity.
    • Remain indoors and under lockdown until you receive an "all clear" from authorized personnel.
    • Silence televisions, cell phones, and other electronics.
    • Turn off all lights and close blinds or curtains.
  • Evacuation from a Building

    • Do not assist first responders unless you are asked to do so.
    • Do not be rubber-necker - move away from the problem area, to your safe area. Remain there until you are instructed to return or relocate.
    • Do not break windows in a fire - oxygen feeds fires.
    • Do not panic - remain calm.
    • Do not run.
    • Do not use elevators.
    • In the event of a fire, do not open hot doors. Before opening any door, touch it near the top to see if it is hot.
  • Area Evacuation

    • Decide whether you should shelter-in-place or evacuate; defer to instructions from authorities.
    • Don't forget your keys and your pets.
    • Follow your emergency plan.
    • Fuel up. Sometimes evacuations cause localized gas shortages.
    • Grab your go bag and any additional food, cash, and supplies you might need.
    • Identify a destination, and advise your out-of-state contact (and others) to let them know where you are headed.
    • Research your route, as some roads may be closed based on the event - check Wayne County information resources and internet resources.
    • Shut off your gas service. Learn where your utilities are and how to shut them off.
  • Preparing for an Emergency Shelter

    • Bring your emergency go bag, including a three-day supply of any specialized supplies, such as:
    • Prescription pharmaceuticals, supplies, and devices necessary for health maintenance.
    • Special food to accommodate any restrictions or allergies.
    • Special items for any older adults, children, or people with access and functional needs, including any assistive technology.
    • There are instances during which Wayne County will open emergency shelters. The following are a few considerations if you have to relocate to a shelter.
    • If you have a pet(s):
      • Understand that your pet dog or cat will be housed at a different shelter.
      • Consider staying with family or friends or a pet-friendly hotel if you do not wish to be separated from your pet.
      • Bring pet supplies.