Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians were forced to leave their homes and move to safer territories or abroad. Here is an instruction about evacuation, quick and safe movement, and the organization of living in shelters.

Who organizes evacuation?

  • Civil-military administrations
  • Workers of Red Cross Administrations
  • Police
  • State Emergency Service of Ukraine
  • Local government

Militarily personnel inform about safe evacuation routes and provide a ceasefire if that is possible.

How does the evacuation work?

  • The ceasefire is announced on the whole route of the transport.
  • The column of buses with villagers and citizens is formed at the previously informed location.
  • Private cars can join the evacuation column, but they have to strictly follow the route.
  • Evacuated people will get help, housing, and food at the destination place.

How to get information about the start of evacuation?

You should follow official information on the radio, mass media or listen to the announcement from mobile air raid sirens. If you are in the bomb shelter, listen to the siren “Uvaga vsim!”(Attention!). After that check the information from available official sources, for example, radio.

What should I do if I don`t have access to information about the start of the evacuation, cannot hear the siren, or cannot move independently?

Try to call the hotline of Territorial defense of Armed Forces of Ukraine 0 800 507 028 or emergency services 101, 102 and inform them about your location. Then the local government will add your address to the list of people who need help with the evacuation.

How should I act if I`m an internationally displaced person (IDP)?

  • Follow the rules of evacuation stated above. If you are evacuating by yourself, find the conditions and routes for it. Do not break established rules and conditions.
  • Collect the necessities, including documents, money, medications, food, and clothes. You can find more information in our guide. There is a possibility that part of the way you have to go on foot, so consider that while packing. Plan breaks and stops for the night, find all the necessary contacts and inform about your arrival.
  • Join forces. Find out who else can join you. Coordinate your forces, combine and optimize resources: fuel, food, medication.
  • Move carefully. There can be dangerous regions on your way. Do not try to rush through them, it`s better to wait until the situation there will be stable.
  • Inform the local government and volunteering centers about your arrival. Give some information about the number of people, their age, health conditions and urgent needs.
  • Ask, but do not demand. Local communities do what they can to organize shelters and provide IDPs with the necessities, but their resources are limited.
  • Avoid conflicts. Do not discuss political views and military situations. Aggression and vandalism are not acts of patriotism. Be friendly and polite.
  • Keep calm. It is extremely important to be in a stable mental state during critical situations. Help those, who are exhausted, anxious or panicked. You can follow these simple rules. Carefully choose sources of truthful information.
  • Help others. You can share recourses with other IDPs, be responsible for organizing your daily life and free time or help the local community.
  • Plan ahead as much as possible. If you plan to stay at the shelter, organize your daily life in a long-term perspective. If you plan to move ahead, organize your route and everything that you need for further movement.

How can we help IDPs during the war?

It is extremely important to set up logistics chains and shelters, that would help to place people, provide them with the necessities, get them to the border in the most efficient way.

Big cities and cities of regional significance are not the only ones where IDPs can live. Many IDPs can live in small communities near main highways and those located a little bit farther as well. Here is some information on what communities can do now to be able to provide shelters for IDPs.

Who needs help?

  • People who escaped the combat zone and are moving to the western border. Quite often they spend two days in the car, without sleep and food. Even a few hours of sleep in bed can extremely helpful for them. They also need help on the way to checkpoints on the western borders of Ukraine.
  • IDPs seeking shelter in the regions, where there is no fighting. They plan to stay from a few weeks to a few months. They are often ready to pay for the apartment.

  • Volunteers who transfer ammunition, medication, and food. Many of them are traveling from northern and central regions to the western border and then back. They spent tens of hours on the road, therefore, need a place to rest for a bit.

What can each community do right now?

  • Check for apartments where you can host people. It can be inhabited residential buildings, where people are ready to host people, estates, hotels, and motels. Building, suitable for living, but where people do not live can be adapted for that purpose. People, for example, can live in offices, museums, gyms, kindergartens, and schools.
  • Get the consent of the owners for the settlement of IDPs and find out how you can get keys. Building/apartments have to be free de facto, not de jure.
  • Check the condition of the housing where you plan to settle IDPs. There should be heating (gas, electricity, or wood), access to water (centralized water supply, well), and a toilet. It is also good if there is the possibility to cook hot food. This is not a whim – it`s basic needs.
  • Check whether there are all the necessary things: blankets, pillows, dishes.
  • Find heaters, that you don`t use. They will let to heat the room without central heating.
  • Designate a phone number, that people, looking for the shelter, will be able to use to find out whether you have available places.
  • Designate a community coordinator who will organize the provision of food, clothing, fuel (firewood or gas cylinders).
  • Maintain order and discipline. Stop attempts to raise rent or food prices, prevent conflicts.
  • Involve local businesses and social services. Grocery stores can help with food, pharmacies – with the supply of medicines, carriers – with transport, educational institutions – with the organization of leisure for children.
  • Organize volunteers. Residents of the community can help IDPs with food, transport, etc. They can also help to organize daily life, the supply of medicines, warm clothing. The task of local authorities is to organize the work of volunteers and coordinate it.
  • Keep in touch with other communities. Some of them can already share positive experiences of helping IDPs, as well as provide you with additional resources. Collaborate with other communities to address pressing issues more effectively.

How to treat IDPs?

It is important to remember that the settlers did not leave their homes because of the good life. Someone could not stay at home with the children, where several times a night they had to go down to the bomb shelters and hear the sounds of explosions. Someone left their house under fire and discovers on the way that there was nowhere to come back – the occupiers bombed the house. And someone miraculously escaped from a city that Russian aircraft are trying to level.

  • Talk to them. People are in a state of shock and stress. That is why it is important to support, listen and reassure them. Communication is extremely necessary; it helps to solve all misunderstandings.
  • Explain to them the rules of staying in the shelter; tell them about the opportunities and limitations that exist. This will help to better organize daily life. In addition, a clear order will avoid unnecessary conflicts and misunderstandings.
  • Help them with food. Do not assume prematurely about their pickiness about food – you may not know if they are vegetarians, lactose intolerant, or have food allergies. Leave the condemnation for peacetime.
  • Organize their daily life and supplies. People who find themselves in a new place need to understand who and how to turn to in case of urgent needs. For example, not every community may have a pharmacy with the necessary medications – they will need to be ordered or brought from another city.
  • Find them something to do, because work helps to distract. Adult IDPs can do simple work and help organize the daily life of shelters as well as work for the community. Organize leisure time for children and teenagers (books, toys, studying) – it`s crucial to create a sense of comfort and safety during the critical time.
  • Help them with planning. Some of the IDPs will want to stay in the community for a few weeks; some will plan to cross the border. Help them organize a route and find transport to continue their journey.

How to offer your help?

If you want to volunteer, offer your services, belongings, transport, and other assistance, contact the local volunteer coordination centers or the Ukrainian Volunteer Service.

If you are ready to host a family seeking protection, you can apply on the specialized site “Prykhystok”.(Shelter)

Important information for the media, bloggers and all citizens who photograph or write about war and the army

According to the ORDER of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, GENERAL VALERY ZALUZHNY:

What is categorically prohibited to be covered by the mass media during wartime:

  • names of bases and subdivisions, as well as their locations

  • the number of soldiers in bases and units

  • the number of weapons and equipment, their condition and place of storage

  • conditional marks of objects

Any information about:

  •  operations carried out or planned

  • system of protection and defense of military units

  • available military protection such as: weapons and equipment(except visible or obviously expressed)

  • procedure for engaging forces (military) and facilities (weapons)

  • intelligence gathering

  • movement and deployment of troops (names, numbers, routes)

  • military units and their tactics, methods of action

  • unique operations and their execution methods

  • the effectiveness of the enemy’s electronic warfare

  • postponed or canceled operations

  • missing or crashed aircraft, ship and search and rescue operations

  • plans for the security of our troops (disinformation, camouflage, countermeasures)

  • informational and psychological operations carried out or planned

  • propaganda or justification of russia’s large-scale armed aggression against Ukraine.

Do not post on social media:

  • consequences of hits by enemy’s missiles or projectiles or moments of their flight in the sky. By doing so you will help the enemy to adjust the fire.

  • time and place of “hits” (neither in publications nor in comments)

  • information about the work of the Ukrainian Air Defense Forces

  • a photo showing numbers, special markings and markings on destroyed or downed enemy equipment.

  • unverified information about victims or dead.

Read also