How To: Shelter-In-Place
During A Chemical
Emergency In Your Community
"Shelter in Place" is one of the basic
instructions you may receive from public safety officials during
a chemical emergency in your community. Industry officials are
responsible for notifying the L.E.P.C of any chemical release
that may affect the community. Local Officials warn the County
residents and recommending appropriate steps to protect the
public. You are responsible for following those instructions, to
protect yourself and your family.
If you are told to shelter in place, take your
children and pets indoors immediately.
There are several warning systems in use in
Outdoor Warning Sirens: Designed to alert
you when you are outdoors and away from radio & TV.
Cable Interrupt System: Television broadcast
will be interrupted by a voice message with instructions
concerning the event.
Emergency Alert System: Will interrupt radio
broadcast with a voice message providing instructions
concerning the event.
NOAA Weather Radio: The best warning method
for your home. Work is now being done to insure that
messages concerning all hazardous events will be broadcast
over the weather radio.
The following general information is a guide on
how you should act before, during and after an emergency. The
situation in your area may involve unique circumstances. Your
local emergency planning committee or office of emergency
services can provide you with details.
- Study your surroundings for fixed and mobile
sources of hazardous materials.
- Learn about any warning sirens where you live
and work. Your local emergency planning committee or
office of emergency services can give you
information about the sirens, such as when they are
tested and for how long.
- Prepare a shelter-in-place kit appropriate for
the type(s) of emergencies that could occur near
you. The kit should contain duct tape for sealing
cracks around doors and windows; plastic
(preferably, precut to size & labeled) to cover windows; a
battery-operated AM/FM radio; flashlight with fresh
least 1 gallon per person per day for 3 days;
keep a 3 day supply of food for your family in the
pantry at all times, or store a 3 day supply of
non-perishables in a covered container in your
towels; toys for young
children; candles; matches; first-aid kit; medicine
and other items essential for your family's
survival. Check the kit every six months to make
sure all the supplies are still there and that they
are fresh. The room should have a telephone,
although you should use it only for emergency calls.
If you use it otherwise, you may be taking up a line
needed by emergency response officials.
- Find out which radio, television and cable
systems in your area broadcast emergency
- Learn CPR and first-aid.
- For a place to shelter, select a room in your
house that has few or no windows.
- Make sure all family members know what to do in
a chemical emergency, whether they are at home,
school, work or outdoors.
- Review your plan periodically and conduct
During An Emergency
You are most likely to hear about a
chemical emergency by radio, television or warning
sirens. When you learn of the emergency:
- Immediately take your family and pets to the
room you've chosen as a shelter. If your children
are at school, do not leave your house to go get
them. Going outside could expose yourself to
hazardous chemicals. Also, schools have emergency
plans of their own.
- Shut off heating, cooling and fans that draw in
air from the outside. If you have a fireplace,
close the damper.
- Shut and lock doors and windows. Locking makes a
better seal. Cover any windows with plastic
sheeting. Seal cracks around the door and windows
with duct tape.
- Turn on a radio or television to a local station
that broadcasts emergency information. Stay tuned
until the "all clear" message is broadcast.
- Stay off the phone. It should be used for
emergency calls only.
- Be prepared to evacuate if ordered to do so by
public safety officials. Evacuation instructions
will be announced over the emergency broadcast
After An Emergency
When you hear the "all clear" message
over the emergency broadcast system, you should:
- Open doors and windows.
- Turn on your heating/cooling system to ventilate
- Go outside