During an emergency situation, you may be asked to shelter in place, but what does this mean?  Sheltering in place is a precaution used to keep you indoors because there has been a release of hazardous materials.  Please note that this is NOT the same thing as seeking shelter from severe weather.  When you shelter in place, you typically select a room in your home, office, or school that has no windows or very few windows and take shelter there.

Materials Needed

There are some materials you will need to shelter in place.  This is to help seal off the nooks and crannies in the room you have selected to prevent contaminated air from reaching you.

Some materials you will need are:

  • Duct tape (at least two rolls)

  • Scissors

  • Towels

  • Drinking Water

  • Toilet Supplies

  • Necessary Medications

  • Portable Battery Operated Radio

  • Flashlight with extra batteries

  • Emergency Disaster Supplies Kit

  • Plastic



How to Shelter In Place

When an order has been given to shelter in place, it is important to take the proper steps to ensure your safety.    It is important to select a small room that has no windows or very few windows.  Do not have your room in the basement because some chemicals are heavier than air and can seep into your basement.  Here are some things you need to do when you are sheltering in place.

  • If you are outside move indoors
  • Turn off heaters, air conditioners, and fans
  • Close and seal all doors and windows with plastic and duct tape
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a wet cloth if necessary
  • Listen to the radio or television for further instructions
  • Wait for the all clear signal before leaving your shelter.

More Tips »

Why you are sheltering in place

Chemical, Biological, or Radiological, contaminants have have accidentally or intentionally been released into the air.  For your safety a shelter in place order will be given.  When an order to shelter in place has been given, you need to act quickly.  

Make sure everyone in your family knows what shelter in place means.  

Have a checklist handy so you don't forget what you need to do.  

Give everyone a job to keep them busy and to avoid panic.  

Your television and radio are going to be great assets.  Keep them on to stay informed of the situation.  Further instructions can be relayed to you through these methods.