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Check out “Hazards in Richmond” for more information

When responding to most emergencies, you will either need to go somewhere safe, or if you already are somewhere safe, stay where you are.

The below outline the steps to take when an official Evacuation or Shelter-in-Place Order is issued by the City.


After an incident, evacuation of the community may be necessary. The routes used will be based on an assessment of the damage at the time of the emergency. 

Here are steps you can expect to have to follow during an evacuation. Prepare in advance where possible to make an evacuation as safe and efficient as possible. Ignoring evacuation warnings and orders could jeopardize the safety of your family and those people who might eventually have to come to your rescue.

1. Stay calm.

2. If you require assistance evacuating (such as physical support) contact your support network. If you are unable to find assistance, contact first responders immediately.

3. Gather your family; a neighbour or someone who may need help.

4. When you leave, take your emergency grab-and-go bag with you

5. Take essential items that are available only if there is time. These could include things such as diapers, baby food, clothes, critical medications and money.

6. If possible, turn off appliances such as stove, lights, air conditioning and heaters.

7. Do not use more cars than you absolutely have to (streets will be filled with other evacuating residents).

8. Keep the windows and vents in the car closed.

9. Follow the routes specified by officials. Do not take shortcuts. They could lead you to a blocked or dangerous area.

10. Avoid fast moving water or water with an unknown depth. If your car gets stuck in water evacuate the car as quickly as possible – if you are able to safely do so. Do not stay with the car as conditions can rapidly change and you may not be able to get out later.

11. Do not use the telephone unless you need immediate emergency service.

12. Register with the designated reception centre so that you can reunite with family and loved ones. (Information on locations will be on the news, radio, and City social media channels and website)
13. Follow the trusted sources of information listed in the Stay Informed section to receive up-to-date information.

Shelter-in-Place (Stay where you are)

Sometimes, the safest thing to do in an emergency is to stay where you are. It may be necessary to order residents to shelter-in-place as a result of an emergency.

Here are a few examples of steps you may have to follow to shelter-in-place. As with evacuations, always follow the instructions provided by first responders.

  1. Move indoors as quickly as possible.
  2. Close all openings. Use duct tape or plastic wrap to seal leaks in openings.
  3. Turn off all heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Close vents.
  4. Do not use fireplaces. Close all fireplace dampers.
  5. Do not operate the clothes dryer. If possible disconnect and seal the dryer hose.
  6. Close drapes, curtains and shades. Stay away from external windows.
  7. Stay in an inside room away from windows and doors if possible.
  8. Use telephones only if you need immediate emergency service.
  9. Avoid smoking as it contaminates the air.
  10. Do not leave the building until told it is safe to do so.

Follow the trusted sources of information listed in the Stay Informed section to receive up-to-date information