In many types of public health emergencies, the safest thing to do is
simply to stay indoors. If the air is unsafe because of an incident involving
hazardous chemicals, radiation, or an aerosol release of a biological agent,
local authorities may advise you to "shelter in place," which limits your
exposure to the outside air.
To shelter in place:
Make sure all family members and pets that are
at home are inside. Then close and lock all doors and windows.
off air conditioners, air exchangers, fans, and furnaces. Close vents and
Move to an inner room, preferably at or above
ground level and without windows. (If the incident involves radiation,
authorities may tell you to take shelter in a basement.) If you have an
emergency supplies kit, take it with you. At the very least, make sure that you
have a battery-powered radio and flashlight and plenty of drinking water. You can also use a radio or flashlight that is powered by a hand crank and so does not need batteries.
local authorities advise you to do so, use duct tape to secure plastic sheeting
around door and window frames.
Stay tuned in to the local news,
and stay inside until local authorities say that it is safe to come out.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerChristine Hahn, MD - Epidemiology