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Ready Marine Corps

Emergency Preparedness Program

Supporting The Nation's Premier Force in Readiness
Civilian Shelters

A Red Cross worker sits with three girls as they read a book in a shelter.In the event of an emergency, Marine Corps regional and installation emergency management organizations have plans and procedures to direct evacuation or movement to shelters. When time permits, the preferred protective strategy for nonessential and nonemergen­cy personnel is evacuation, but in emergencies with only a moderate advance warning, installation authorities may direct people to local, state, or host-nation shelters.

Photo courtesy of Red Cross.org

How to Prepare
  1. Verify and update official contact information in the Marine Corps Enterprise Mass Notification System (eMNS), and register all cell phones, home phone, email addresses, etc. in eMNS
  2. Identify shelters in your area before an emergency. FEMA offers a mobile app that locates shelters in your area. Download the app to your phone.
  3. Make a written family emergency plan, including an emergency com­munication plan
  4. Build in advance and take along an emergency kit that can sustain your family for at least three days. 
  5. Once you are in a safe place, follow your command’s protocols for personnel accountability and contact your command’s designated Point of Contact to check-in and report your location and situation.
How You Will Be Notified
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  • Giant Voice (GV)—A voice an­nouncing system using exterior speakers, commonly termed “Giant Voice”
  • Interior Voice (IV)—Interior speakers or sirens within individual buildings
  • Enterprise Mass Notification System (eMNS)An interactive, com­munity notification system capable of providing voice and/or data messag­es to multiple, designated receivers
NOTE: You must register your personal information in eMNS to receive notices after hours and away from the office on personal devices.
What Is a Shelter?
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A shelter is a publicly identified, certified, supplied, staffed, and insured civilian facility where the endangered population may seek temporary protection for a limited duration. Marine Corps regions and installations do not develop, maintain, or operate certified shelters. Instead, regions and installations coordinate shelter needs with appropriate state, local, host-nation, and private agencies. The American Red Cross is the principal U.S. resource for development, management, and operation of certified shelters. Certified shelters within the local community are preferred over safe haven facilities onboard an installation.

  • Even though mass care shelters often provide water, food, medicine, and basic sanitary facilities, you should plan to take an emergency kit with you.
  • Alcoholic beverages, weapons, and smoking are prohibited in all shelters.
  • Mass care facilities can involve liv­ing with many people in close prox­imity, so it is important to cooperate with local shelter managers and others assisting them.
  • Depending on the situation and regulations of the safe haven, pets may or may not be allowed, so ask the Installation Emergency Manager for clarification and/or restrictions if you are unclear. Ensure that you address the needs of your pets while at the safe haven by bringing enough food and water to support their stay.


Set your own course through any hazard: stay informed, make a plan, build a kit.
Live Ready Marine Corps.



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