September 02, 2014

Shelter in Place

What To Do If You Are Told To Shelter In Place

Shelter in Place
The two decisions facing you are: whether to STAY or to GO

You should take action of you notice any of the following:

  • An unusual smell or sound, such as an explosion
  • Visible smoke, fire, or a vapor cloud
  • Skin or eye irritation
  • Breathing difficulty

DO NOT GO OUTSIDE to see what happened. Instead, remain where you are

Trust your common sense and your five senses: smelling, hearing, tasting, seeing, and "feeling".

Seek information to verify your decision. Listen to your radio and TV.

MOST OFTEN it is safer to stay where you are, providing your building or vehicle is safely intact.

Your home, your business, your school, your car... these can provide reliable protection

What To Do If You Are Told To Evacuate

Most chemical releases will only last a few minutes and staying inside should be adequate for your protection. If the release is prolonged, then an order to evacuate may be given.

Listen to your radio and TV.

You may decide for yourself to GO based on your own common sense plus your five senses.

The evacuation process generally takes a while to develop, so be ready to get away promptly if told to do so by officials.

When you GO, be sure you know your destination and know how to get there.

 Shelter in Place - Quick List

If you are asked to shelter in place, here is a list of what to do:

  • First, remain calm.
  • If you are outdoors, go inside immediately (an interior room without windows is preferable). Do not call 911 unless you are reporting an immediate life-threatening situation.
  • Do not attempt to get your children from their school or day care center. Staff members are trained to protect your children and will institute shelter-in-place procedures where they are located.
  • Next, close all windows and doors. Place pre-cut plastic sheeting over windows, and tape in place.
  • Close all outside air vents. Turn off cooling, heating or ventilating systems. Cover cracks under doors with damp towels. If you have a fireplace, put out the fire and close the damper.
  • Tape cracks and other openings such as electrical and cable television outliets for extra protection. Keeps pets indoors.
  • Lastly, listen carefully to a portable radio for instructions from emergency officials.
 Shelter in Place - Simple Kit

Assemble your own Shelter In Place Kit to aid when the need arises.
A simple kit can be assembled relatively inexpensively (usually under $50.00) with the following items:

  • A roll of plastic sheeting, pre-cut to fit any windows in the room.
  • A roll of duct tape.
  • Bath towels to place under any openings in doorways (dampen towels first).
  • A battery-operated radio, with extra batteries, tuned to the local Emergency Alert Station (EAS).
  • Bottled water and some sort of snack food.