Sheltering In-Place

Evacuation is not always the safest option in the event of a hazardous material or other type of emergency. Your home or workplace can be a safe haven from an emergency. Up-front preparations will help. "Sheltering In-Place" or "Protecting In-Place" means staying inside your home or other building until emergency officials give an "all-clear" signal.

Sheltering In-place can be your safest option in some emergencies. Sheltering In-Place is most commonly used for hazardous material emergencies, but can also be used during some storms and some police emergencies where evacuation and exposure to the outside can be life-threatening.

Sheltering In-Place preparations complement your other family emergency preparedness efforts.

Sheltering in-Place Supplies

  • Battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, battery powered or cellular phone (if no phone in room)
  • Snack foods, water or drinks, pet foods
  • Plastic sheeting for windows, doors, air vents or other opening. (You may want to pre-cut and label them)
    • First Aid Kit
    • Rolls of duct tape for the plastic sheeting
    • Towel for under the door

Prepare Your Home Before

  • Choose a Room for a Safe-Room:  Ideally, the room has few windows, large enough to hold the number of people you wish, and has access to water. A bedroom with an adjoining bath is a great place.
  • Prepare Window Coverings: Windows should be sealed to prevent hazards from entering. Measure windows and skylights - cut plastic (adding 6 inches to the borders) to be placed over the windows. Label the sheets for each window.
    • For a serious wind condition, think about something heavier to guard against broken glass entering the room (wood, heavy cardboard, even a mattress).
  • Prepare Vent and Door Coverings: Like the windows, measure each air vent, door, and any other opening leading outside the room. Cut, label and store plastic sheeting.
  • Assemble Shelter in-Place Supplies: Your supplies should be stored in the pre-designated room. An under-the-bed box may work well, or use a container that fits on a closet shelf or in a cabinet.