How to React in an Emergency

Where to Get Information

Who to Call

  • Call 911 to report a life-threatening emergency
  • Call 311 to report a non-emergency or to request City services
  • Call (877) 778-2222 to report a power outage to BGE

Supply Kit ImageWhat to Do

In an emergency you may be instructed to SHELTER IN PLACE or EVACUATE.

Shelter in Place

  • Bring your family and pets inside.
  • Lock doors, close windows, air vents and fireplace dampers.
  • Turn off fans, air conditioning and forced air heating systems.
  • Get your emergency supply kit.
  • Go into an interior room with few windows, if possible.
  • Seal all windows, doors and air vents with plastic sheeting and duct tape. Consider measuring and cutting the sheeting in advance to save time.
  • Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to seal gaps so that you create a barrier between yourself and any contamination.
  • Local authorities may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for official news and instructions as they become available.

Evacuation Route Sign ImageEvacuate

  • Lock the door behind you.
  • Take your pets with you in a pet carrier or cage, but be aware that not all shelters outside of Baltimore permit pets. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency.
    If time allows:
  • Call or email the "out-of-state" contact in your family communications plan.
  • Tell them where you are going.
  • If there is damage to your home and you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving.
  • If you are able let others know whom you trust that you are leaving and where you are going.

Have your "Emergency Kit"ready and well stocked  with these items:

  • Water; one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food.
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • First aid kit.
  • Whistle to signal for help.
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to assist you in your efforts to shelter-in-place.
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
  • Manual can opener.
  • Local maps.
  • Cell phone with portable chargers.

(Information courtesy of US DHS,