What Does “Shelter In Place” Mean?

Shelter In Place

An accident may cause a hazardous material to enter the air. Unless the hazardous material is flammable, emergency response professionals may recommend that you
stay indoors until you receive instructions to leave. You may be instructed to “shelter-in-place” which means you must remain inside your home or office and protect yourself there. Our well weather-stripped buildings slow the movement of air into the buildings and any hazardous material that does enter is weakened when it mixes with the indoor air. It is imperative that you stay indoors, especially if you see a cloud, vapour, or smoke from the hazardous material outdoors or you can smell it indoors. You will be safer inside.

The following steps will help maximize your protection:

  • Close and lock all windows and exterior doors.
  • Turn off all fans, heating and air-conditioning systems to avoid drawing in air from the outside.
  • Close the fireplace damper.
  • Get your emergency kit and make sure the radio is working.
  • Go to an interior room that’s above ground level (if possible, one without windows). In the case of a chemical threat, an above-ground location is preferable because some chemicals are heavier than air and may seep into basements even if the windows are closed.
  • Using duct or other wide tape, seal all cracks around the door and any vents into the room.
  • Continue to monitor your radio or television until you are told all is safe or are advised to evacuate.

For more information check out: http://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/hzd/drng-eng.aspx

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