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Sheltering in Place

Sheltering in place means that you remain where you are during an emergency. Many times, especially during a chemical or radiation emergency, you will want to stay where you are until further instructions. Your local emergency planners will have a list of where shelters in your area. The local town clerk, city council or Office of Public Safety can help you find the appropriate plans for your jurisdiction.

How to prepare to shelter-in-place?

  • Develop your own emergency family plans. Practice with all of your family so that they will be familiar with the plans or any additions and changes that will be made. The plan is a living document that should be updated when information changes. For example, your contact person may get a new cell phone with a new number.
  • Choose a location or room that has the fewest windows and doors. It will also be important to choose one with a water supply if at all possible.
  • Assemble a disaster kit with water and food. Check it regularly to be sure nothing is outdated or has been used and not replaced.
  • Find out what the warning system in your area.
  • Contact schools and workplaces to find out what their plans are.

When should I shelter-in-place?

Contact your local emergency planning committee or Public Safety Department and ask what system would be used in your area to warn you and your family.

  • Reverse 911 may be used to send recorded messages through an automated system
  • NOAA Weather radio alerts
  • Sirens or horns
  • News from radio or television
  • Emergency Alert System that broadcasts through your radio or television

How do I shelter-in-place?

  • Act quickly and follow instructions of the local authorities
  • Bring pets and children inside
  • Close and lock all windows and doors
  • Turn off ventilation systems, fans and air conditioning
  • Close the damper to the fireplace and wood stove
  • Find your disaster supply kit
  • Listen to your television or radio for further updates until emergency is over and follow any other instructions that are given by emergency authorities.