Shelter In Place

If You Are Told To Shelter in Place
Shelter in Place may be the best way to protect yourself and your family from several types of dangers, including hazardous materials accidents. You should choose your shelter room in advance. Bathrooms are recommended, for obvious reasons if you must stay in there for several hours. Bathrooms are also generally recommended as shelter rooms for tornadoes and high winds, if you do not have access to a storm shelter or basement. Keep a battery powered radio and extra batteries in your shelter room, or take one in with you. If possible, keep your Disaster Supply Kit in your shelter room. If told to Shelter in Place, you should:
  • Stay calm.
  • Stay indoors. If you or your family members are outside, go inside immediately. If your pets are outdoors, bring them inside or into an enclosed building.
  • Close and lock all exterior doors, windows, and garage doors. Close all interior doors, fireplace dampers, and other ventilation openings.
  • Turn off heating or cooling systems, ceiling and exhaust fans, and all other ventilation systems. Do not put the system on recirculate.
  • Go into your shelter room. This should be an inner room such as a bathroom, closet, hallway that can be closed off with doors, or other room with few or no windows. The shelter room should be large enough to accommodate everyone who will be in it, and capable of being sealed adequately.
  • Turn on radio or TV and tune to your local Emergency Alert System (EAS) station for further instructions. If you do not keep a radio in your shelter room, be sure to take one in with you.
Listen for More Information
Continue to listen to EAS radio, TV, or Emergency Alert Radio messages for information. When officials announce it is safe to do so, leave your shelter room and open all doors and windows in your house. This is in order to let your house air out and get rid of any lingering chemical vapors that may be trapped there.

Children in School
If you have a child in school, listen to the EAS messages to determine what action, if any, that school has been asked to take. If the school has been ordered to Shelter in Place, do not attempt to pick up your child until the emergency is over. The school doors will be locked and cannot be opened until all danger has passed. Listen to the emergency radio and TV messages for instructions on when and where to pick up your child after the emergency is over.