Sheltering & Evacuation

Various options may be employed if shelter is needed. These include “sheltering-in-place”; use of local facilities during certain hours of the day for warming, feeding or other needs; and evacuation to a full-time shelter established by authorities. As always, all of us are expected to provide for ourselves and our families, insofar as we can. However, your emergency management team is prepared to help if events go beyond individuals’ ability to cope.

If sheltering or evacuation is deemed necessary, please pay close attention to all information and follow instructions given.

Staying Indoors: Sheltering-In-Place

You may be instructed to shelter-in-place, which means you should immediately go indoors. If a shelter-in-place message is given for your community over an Emergency Alert System (EAS) radio station, you should do the following:

  • Go indoors and close all doors and windows.
  • Turn off all window fans, air conditioners, clothes dryers, kitchen and bath exhaust fans and other sources of outside air.
  • Continue to listen to a local EAS radio station for official messages and instructions.
  • Keep pets indoors.
  • If you have livestock, shelter them too. Give them stored feed and water from a covered source.
  • Stay inside until officials say otherwise. If you must go outside, cover your nose and mouth with a folded, damp cloth. Persons with respiratory disorders should not go out at all.
  • If you are traveling in a motor vehicle in the affected area, close the windows and air vents and turn off the heater or air conditioner. Keep the radio tuned to an EAS station.
  • Go inside a nearby building. If none is available, leave the area immediately.
  • If sheltering-in-place is recommended during school hours, children will be sheltered in the school building and cared for by school personnel.
  • DO NOT use your telephone unless you need special assistance.

Evacuate ONLY if directed

If an evacuation is necessary, public safety officials will tell you what to do over the radio (EAS). DO NOT evacuate unless recommended by local or state public safety officials. If requested to evacuate you should:

  • Listen to an Emergency Alert System radio station.
  • While traveling in your motor vehicle, close all windows and vents and turn off air conditioners as you proceed to the reception center.

 Reception Centers

Reception centers are available if you are asked to evacuate. The primary New Hampshire reception center for this area is located at Keene High School in Keene, NH. Other reception centers are located at Bellows Falls Union High School in Bellows Falls, Vermont, and Greenfield Community College in Greenfield Massachusetts. The reception centers are operated by public officials. Limited medical services will be available at the reception center.

 Directions to Reception Center

Major roads and arteries will be used during an evacuation. Follow directions of police and other traffic officers. Stay tuned to a local EAS radio station for special instructions. Take your time; instructions will be given in plenty of time to allow you to evacuate safely.

 From Chesterfield:

Proceed via Route 9 east toward Keene for approximately 10 miles. Turn left onto Base Hill Road, then proceed to West Street. Turn right onto West Street and then left onto Bradford Road. Then proceed to Arch Street. Turn right onto Arch Street and left into the Keene High School parking lot.

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