Emergency Management Agency Masthead Image

1220 W College St, Murfreesboro, TN 37129 • Phone: (615) 898-7764 • Fax: (615) 898-7640

Evacuations: At Work

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  • Close the business.

  • Bring everyone into the room(s). Shut and lock the door(s).

  • If there are customers, clients or visitors in the building, provide for their safety by asking them to stay, not leave. When authorities provide directions to shelter-in-place, they want everyone to take those steps now, where they are and not drive or walk outdoors.

  • Unless there is an imminent threat, ask employees, customers, clients and visitors to call their emergency contact to let them know where they are and that they are safe.

  • Turn on call-forwarding or alternative telephone answering systems or services. If the business has voice mail or an automated attendant, change the recording to indicate that the business is closed and that staff and visitors are remaining in the building until authorities advise it is safe to leave.

  • Close and lock all windows, exterior doors and any other openings to the outside.

  • If you are told there is danger of explosion, close the window shades, blinds or curtains.

  • Have employees familiar with your building's mechanical systems turn off all fans, heating and air conditioning systems. Some systems automatically provide for exchange of inside air with outside air—these systems in particular need to be turned off, sealed or disabled.

  • Gather essential disaster supplies, such as nonperishable food, bottled water, battery-powered radios, first aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, duct tape, plastic sheeting and plastic garbage bags.

  • Select interior room(s) above the ground floor, with the fewest windows or vents. The room(s) should have adequate space for everyone to be able to sit in. Avoid overcrowding by selecting several rooms if necessary. Large storage closets, utility rooms, pantries, copy and conference rooms without exterior windows will work well. Avoid selecting a room with mechanical equipment like ventilation blowers or pipes, because this equipment may not be able to be sealed from the outdoors.

  • It is ideal to have a hard-wired telephone in the room(s) you select. Call emergency contacts and have the phone available if you need to report a life-threatening condition. Cellular telephone equipment may be overwhelmed or damaged during an emergency.

  • Use duct tape and plastic sheeting (heavier than food wrap) to seal all cracks around the door(s) and any vents into the room.

  • Write down the names of everyone in the room, and call your business' designated emergency contact to report who is in the room with you, and their affiliation with your business (employee, visitor, client, customer.)

  • Keep listening to the radio or television until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate. Local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in your community.

Local officials on the scene are the best source of information for your particular situation.
Follow their instructions during and after emergencies.

Remember that instructions to shelter-in-place are usually provided for durations of only a few hours, not days or weeks.


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