Sheltering or Evacuation

When traveling abroad on behalf of UT Dallas it is important to know how to manage risks and prepare appropriately.  One of the ways UT Dallas faculty, staff and students can do that is by knowing what to do when, during an emergency, a decision is made to shelter or evacuate.

Mass Care Shelter

  • Take your emergency supply kit with you. The shelter may offer some supplies, however make sure you take it with you so you have what you require.
  • Cooperate with shelter managers and others assisting them. This will help avoid conflicts and reduce stress for all involved

Sheltering in Place

Whether you are at home, work, school or elsewhere, there may be situations when it is simply best to stay where you are and avoid any uncertainty outside. Determine what is the plan to shelter in place for different types of hazards, such as:

  • Natural Disasters
  • Technological & Accidental Hazards
  • Terrorist Hazards
  • Pandemics
  • Home Fires


There may be conditions under which you will decide to get away or there may be situations when you are ordered to leave. Follow these guidelines for evacuation:

  • Determine locations to meet with others in your group both within and outside your immediate neighborhood.
  • Become familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area. Choose several destinations in different directions so you have options in an emergency.
  • Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
  • Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts; they may be blocked.
  • Be alert for road hazards such as washed-out roads or bridges and downed power lines. Stay away from flooded areas.
  • Take your emergency supply kit unless you have reason to believe it has been contaminated.
  • Listen to a battery-powered radio and follow local evacuation instructions.
  • Contact or leave messages for your emergency contacts, let them know where you are going.

If time allows:

  • Secure your home by closing and locking doors and windows.
  • Unplug electrical equipment such as radios, televisions and small appliances. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding. If there is damage to your home and you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving.
  • Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
  • Wear sturdy shoes and clothing that provides some protection such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and a cap.


Develop a Personal Emergency Action Plan (PEAP). There are many ways to create a PEAP. The ICRSO has developed a PEAP template that you can use. Fill out the template and carry it with you at all times. You may choose to share it with your emergency contacts.

  • Develop an Emergency Communications Plan.
  • Know what to do if the emergency involves Sheltering or Evacuating.
  • Make an Emergency Supply Kit to be prepared for any type of disaster.


The risk information in this post is retrieved from sources as listed in the post. It provides general guidance for UT Dallas travelers. Please note the published date of this post,  and go to the direct sources listed in the post for the most up-to-date information.  The information in this post may change without prior notice.