Shelter in Place

Recommended Shelter-in-place instructions.

  1. Quickly bring everyone inside including your pets.
  2. Close all doors to the outside and close and lock all windows (windows sometimes seal better when locked).
  3. Building superintendents should set all ventilation systems to 100 percent re-circulation so that no outside air is drawn into the structure. When this is not possible, ventilation systems should be turned off.
  4. Turn off all heating systems.
  5. Turn off all air-conditioners and switch inlets to the "closed" positions. Seal any gaps around window type air-conditioners with tape and plastic sheeting, wax paper, or aluminum wrap.
  6. Turn off all exhaust fans in kitchens, bathrooms, and other spaces.
  7. Close all fireplace dampers.
  8. Close as many internal doors as possible in your home or other building.
  9. Use tape and plastic food wrapping, wax paper, or aluminum wrap to cover and seal bathroom exhaust fan grilles, range vents, dryer vents, and other openings to the outside to the extent possible (including any obvious gaps around external windows and doors).
  10. If the gas or vapor is soluble or even partially soluble in water -- hold a wet cloth or handkerchief over your nose and mouth if the gases start to bother you. For a higher degree of protection, go into the bathroom, close the door, and turn on the shower in a strong spray to "wash" the air. Seal any openings to the outside of the bathroom a best as you can. Don't worry about running out of air to breathe. That is highly unlikely in normal homes and buildings.
  11. If an explosion is possible outdoors -- close drapes, curtains, and shades over windows. Stay away from external windows to prevent potential injury from flying glass.
  12. Minimize the use of elevators in buildings. These tend to "pump" outdoor air in and out of a building as they travel up and down.
  13. Tune into the Emergency Alert System (EAS) station on your radio or television for further information and guidance.