Skip to comments.Shelter In Place: Make Your Kits
Posted on 09/24/2001 9:00:51 PM PDT by Cascadians
Shelter In Place: Make Your Kits
Shelter In Place
[ Courtesy of ECHO Caer Group, Emergency Communications for Hazardous Operations, taught through the Portland, Oregon Fire Dept Training Center ]
[ Fair Use: For Educational / Research / Discussion Purposes Only ]
"There may be a time when an emergency takes place in your community due to an airborne toxic chemical release. The outside air quality may be affected to the point that it is not safe to be outside or evacuate. In a case like this it is usually safer to shelter-in-place until wind disperses and moves the toxic chemical away.
Many, but not all, facilities (chemical/industrial plants) and emergency vehicles have alarm, siren, horn, or similar notification devices or systems. A three to five minute continuous signal means:
"Turn on TV or radio. Listen for essential emergency information."
These various signal devices may use different tones. The key is that they will be continuously activated for three to five minutes. If you hear this signal go inside immediately and turn on your radio or TV.
For Airborne toxic chemical releases the safest immediate action is to shelter-inplace while listening for further instructions.
1. Move inside immediately and turn on radio or TV for emergency information.
Proceed right away to:
2. Close all windows and doors.
3. Turn off ventilation systems. Remember heating, cooling, air pumps, bathroom fans, kitchen fans, oven/stove ventilation fans, dryer exhaust, chemney/fireplace vents, etc.
4. In buildings, go into and seal a room if possible.
5. Continue to listen to radio or TV for further instructions.
Go inside the nearest structure such as a home, school, store, public building. Bring pets inside if practical. If indoors already, stay there. Turn on radio or TV for emergency information. If you are in a vehicle, close all windows, manual vents and ventilation systems.
In a structure:
Shut all windows, doors, chimney or fire place vents. This includes everything that can quickly and easily be closed to prevent the chemical from entering.
Turn off forced air heating or cooling systems. Turn of stove and bathroom exhaust fans.
Go into a room, preferably with no, or few, windows or outside air vents. If possible seal doors, windows, vents, etc. with plastic and tape or wet rags.
Continue to listen to the radio or TV on a local emergency alert system station until the emergency is over or until you are given instruction to evacuate. (Use a battery powered radio if the power is off.)
SHELTER IN PLACE PRE-PLANNING
It is important that you have a plan for your home or business for sheltering-in-place. Some key steps in this plan are:
* Knowing what doors and windows are likely to be open and assigning some one to check and close and LOCK them. Locking seals better.
* Knowing where the manual vents are and how to close them.
* Knowing where forced air heating or cooling controls/power exhaust vents are and how to turn them off.
* Knowing what room you will go to and how to seal it. Have a kit pre-prepared for this consisting of things such as plastic sheeting, strong tape, duct tape, rags, towels, water, snacks, etc.
Pre-cut the plastic to completely seal all windows and doors and any vents in your designated shelter room. With easy-to-see large labels, clearly mark on the plastic which opening/window/door/vent it fits.
* Have a radio (preferably two). Have one electric and one battery operated radio in the room you've identified. Know the emergency alert system station(s) for your area and have the station numbers written on a piece of tape attached to the radio.
Most chemical release incidents are short-term in nature. But for any potential emergency situation, always keep an adequate supply of contained food and water sources, flashlights, first aid kit, batteries, a portable radio, essential medicines and other essentials. Practice safety drills to be prepared and know the emergency plans for your workplace and schools.
WHAT TO DO IN A CHEMICAL EMERGENCY (SHELTER-IN-PLACE)
When a release or spill is identified, some chemical plants dispatch trained emergency responders to quickly assess the situation and plan an approrpiate response. If offsite impacts are possible, local response agencies (Emergency Management Agency, Fire Department, etc) are contacted and consulted with. The local response agencies will then decide what actions, if any, are necessary to protect the surrounding community.
[ Note: these instructions were not written with Y2K in mind, when communications may be overwhelmed or out and emergency responders completely overwhelmed. ]
Sheltering inside a building is considered to be a proven method of protecting yourself and your family in the event of an accidental release.
IF ASKED TO SHELTER IN PLACE
* Close all doors to the outside and close and lock all windows (windows sometimes seal better when locked);
* Turn off ventilation systems;
* Monitor the local Emergency Alert System (EAS) radio station for updates and remain in shelter until authorities indicate it is safe to come out.
Select a room in the building where occupants can be the most comfortable and which is easy to seal off. This room should, if possible, provide access to water, toilet facilities, and adequate room for people to sit or lie down. The room should have a battery-powered radio, snack foods, and bottled water.
Many people opt for the master bedroom area with bathroom.
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 as best as you can. Don't worry about running out of air to breathe. That is highly unlikely in normal homes and buildings.
Be sure to make Shelter-In-Place kits, with pre-cut, marked heavy plastic and strong tape to seal your closed doors, windows, vents, exhaust systems -- anywhere anything from outside could get in. Keep your kit accessible in the designated room. Make sure all members of the family know what the kit is for, how to use it, and why. Drill and practice Sheltering-In-Place.
Hazmat accidents happen all the time; trucks overturn on the freeways, plants have explosions, etc.
And now there's War.
" ... The best thing to do, experts advise, is to stay inside, completely sealed off from outside air, and wait there for several days for the poison to disperse. ... "
Please help yourselves and your family and neighbors by assembling these simple, basic kits which can enable you to Shelter-In-Place until the danger passes, if attacks resume, and there is any advance notice at all.
Drill your family to Shelter-In-Place!
It was only after seeing your posts that we decided to try a prep post and see if FReepers received it ...
And as soon as the sleeples realize that Big Brother Gov can't possibly help them when TSHTF, they will make runs on practical functional wartime items, just as gas masks are now selling out at high prices.
Beat the maddening crowds and prepare prudently while there is still time.
Think about slow-downs in imports, possible fuel shortages, etc -- and make your shopping lists!
Use an empty bucket that has been lined with a plastic garbage pail bag to urinate and defecate into. Cover your waste with sand and seal the bag. Repeat each time necessary.
If you want to protect yourself find the time to do so. Your best place to get your info is local heath or the fire dept.
We're on an excellent Preparedness Forum that has been running since December 1997. It is filled with answers to every possible prep and safety question. Millions of posts, and the archives will soon be consolidated for searching.
Any of you who are sincere about safeguarding yourselves and family are welcome to ask questions on this Preparation Forum:
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