Shelter - In - Place
In An Emergency
What does Shelter
in Place Mean?
One of the instructions you may be given in an emergency where hazardous materials may have been released into the atmosphere is to shelter-in-place. This is a precaution aimed to keep you safe while remaining indoors. This is not the same thing as going to a shelter in case of a storm. Shelter-in-place means selecting a small, interior room, with no or few windows, and taking refuge there. It does not mean sealing off your entire home or office building.
Why You Might Need to Shelter In Place -
Chemical, biological or radiological contaminants may be released accidentally or intentianally into the environment. Should this occur, information will be provided by local authorities on TV and radio stations on how to protect yourself and your family. Because information will most likely be provided on TV and radio, it is important to keep a TV or radio on, even during the workday. The important thing is for you to follow insturctions of local authorities and know what to do if they advise you to shelter in place.
Local officials on the scene are the best source of information for your particular situation. Follow their instructions during and after emergencies regarding sheltering, food, water, and clean up methods.
Instructions to shelter-in-place are usually for durations of a few hours, not days or weeks. There is little danger that the room in which you are taking shelter will run out of oxygen and you will suffocate.