Presentation on theme: "Shelter in Place Adapted and used by permission from Tina Wood, Chair of Emergency Services, Northern Vermont Chapter American Red Cross."— Presentation transcript:
Shelter in Place Adapted and used by permission from Tina Wood, Chair of Emergency Services, Northern Vermont Chapter American Red Cross
What is Shelter in Place? One of the instructions you may be given in an emergency is to shelter- in-place. This is a precaution aimed to keep you safe while remaining indoors. (This is not the same thing as going to a shelter in case of a storm). Shelter-in-place means selecting a small, interior room, with no or few windows, and taking refuge there. It does not mean sealing off your entire home or office building.
Why shelter in place? Likely: Severe weather (tornado, hail, etc.) Civil unrest Accidental chemical release due to industrial or vehicle accident Controlled release of personnel for an orderly evacuation from the area Unlikely: Biological, chemical, radiological attack Separate Radiological Response Procedures
Shelter in Place Should any of the events occur, information will be provided by local authorities on television and radio stations on how to protect you and your family. Because information will most likely be provided on television and radio, it is important to keep a TV or radio on, even during the workday. The important thing is for you to follow the instructions of local authorities and know what to do if they advise you to shelter-in-place.
How to shelter in place At home: 1. Close and lock all windows and exterior doors. 2. If you are told there is danger of explosion, close the window shades, blinds, or curtains. 3. Turn off all fans, heating and air conditioning systems. 4. Close the fireplace damper. 5. Get your family disaster supplies kit and make sure the radio is working. 6. Go to an interior room without windows that's above ground level. 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.disaster supplies kit
How to shelter in place continued: 7. Bring your pets with you, and be sure to bring additional food and water supplies for them. 8. It is ideal to have a hard-wired telephone in the room you select. Call your emergency contact and have the phone available if you need to report a life-threatening condition. 9. Cellular telephone equipment may be overwhelmed or damaged during an emergency. 10. Use duct tape and plastic sheeting (heavier than food wrap) to seal all cracks around the door and any vents into the room - only if the situation requires. 11. Keep listening to your radio or television until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate. Local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in your community.
How to shelter in place: At work: 1. Close the business 2. If there are customers, clients, or visitors in the building, provide for their safety by asking them to stay – not leave. 3. When authorities provide directions to shelter in place, they want everyone to take those steps now, where they are, and not drive or walk outdoors. 4. Unless there is an imminent threat, ask employees, customers, clients, and visitors to call their emergency contact to let them know where they are and that they are safe. 5. Turn on call-forwarding or alternative telephone answering systems or services. If the business has voice mail or an automated attendant, change the recording to indicate that the business is closed, and that staff and visitors are remaining in the building until authorities advise it is safe to leave.
How to shelter in place continued: 6. Close and lock all windows, exterior doors, and any other openings to the outside. 7. If you are told there is danger of explosion, close the window shades, blinds, or curtains. 8. Have employees familiar with your building’s mechanical systems turn off all fans, heating and air conditioning systems. Some systems automatically provide for exchange of inside air with outside air – these systems, in particular, need to be turned off, sealed, or disabled. 9. Gather essential disaster supplies, such as nonperishable food, bottled water, battery powered radios, first aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, duct tape, plastic sheeting, and plastic garbage bags. Do you Have these at your place of employment? 10. Select interior room(s) above the ground floor, with the fewest windows or vents. The room(s) should have adequate space for everyone to be able to sit in.
How to shelter in place continued: 11. Avoid overcrowding by selecting several rooms if necessary. Large storage closets, utility rooms, copy, and conference rooms work well. 12. Avoid selecting a room with mechanical equipment such as blowers or pipes. These rooms may not be able to be sealed from the outside due to venting. 13. Rooms should have a hard wired phone available to call emergency contacts or to report life threatening conditions. 14. Cellular phone equipment may be overwhelmed or damaged in an emergency. 15. Use duct tape and plastic sheeting (2-4 mil) to seal all cracks around the door(s) and any vents into the room – only if the situation requires this. Do you currently have adequate materials for sheeting ? 16. Bring everyone into the room(s) and shut and lock the door(s).
How to shelter in place continued: 17. Write down the names of everyone in the room and call your business’ designated emergency contact to report who is in the room with you, and their affiliation with your business (employee, client, customer). 18. Keep listening to the radio or television until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate. 19. Local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in your community.
How to shelter in place: At School: 1. Activate the schools emergency plan and follow reverse evacuation procedures to bring students, faculty, and staff indoors. 2. If there are visitors in the building, provide for their safety by asking them to stay, not leave. 3. When authorities provide directions to shelter in place, they want everyone to take those steps now, where they are, and not drive or walk outdoors. 4. Provide for answering telephone inquiries from concerned parents by having at least one telephone with the schools listed telephone number available in the room selected to provide shelter for the school secretary or person designated to answer these calls. This room should also be sealed. 5. There should be a way to communicate between all rooms being used to shelter in place within the school (intercom, etc.).
How to shelter in place continued: 6. Ideally, provide for a way to make announcements over the school-wide public address system from the room where the top school official takes shelter. 7. If children have cell phones, allow them to use them to call a parent or guardian to let them know that they have been asked to remain in school until further notice, and that they are safe. 8. If the school has voice mail or an automated attendant, change the recording to indicate that the school is closed, students and staff are remaining in the building until authorities advise that it is safe to leave. 9. Provide directions to close and lock all windows, exterior doors, and any other openings to the outside. 10. If you are told there is a danger of explosion, window blinds, shades, or curtains be closed.
How to shelter in place continued: 11. Have staff familiar with your buildings mechanical systems turn off all fans, heating, and air conditioning systems. Some systems automatically provide for exchange of inside air with outside air; these systems need to be turned off, sealed, or disabled. 12. Gather essential disaster supplies such as nonperishable food, bottled water, battery powered radios, first aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, duct tape, plastic sheeting, and plastic garbage bags. Where is this kept in your school? 13. Rooms should have a hard wired phone available to call emergency contacts or to report life threatening conditions. 14. Large, interior rooms above the ground floor should be used to shelter in place. Large storage closets, utility rooms, meeting rooms, even a gymnasium without exterior windows will work well. 15. Use duct tape and plastic sheeting (2-4 mil) to seal all cracks around the door(s) and any vents into the room – only if the situation requires this. 16. Bring everyone into the room(s) and shut and lock the door(s).
How to shelter in place continued: 17. Write down the names of everyone in the room. 18. Listen for an official announcement from school officials over the public address system and stay in the designated room until you are told that all is safe or to evacuate. 19. Local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk in your community.
Frequently Asked Questions: Will anyone tell me to stay in my home or leave the area? Yes, local government officials will provide instructions on the radio and television. Listen to their advice and follow their instructions. If local government officials advise evacuating the area, the Red Cross will open shelters in locations that will be safe. Be careful not to confuse an evacuation shelter with a room in a home or building that is selected to seal up and use to shelter in place.
Frequently Asked Questions: How many disaster supply kits should I have prepared? It is recommended that you stock a complete kit to meet the needs of everyone in your home. The kit should also be packed and ready to take with you in the event you are advised to evacuate. You should also have a small disaster supplies kit in each vehicle, as well as supplies at your workplace. Sometimes it is easier to create one kit for each person in your home so the container is smaller and easier to carry. The amount of contents should remain the same, in total, for everyone in your home.
Frequently Asked Questions: What about my pets? How much should I add to my disaster supplies kit for them? Store enough supplies for your pet’s needs for at least three days, including food, water, and related items.
Successful Examples: Pensacola, FL November 9, 1977 A railroad tank car carrying anhydrous ammonia derailed and was punctured resulting in the release of ammonia vapors. Two deaths and forty six injuries were reported for those who were evacuated. In six houses that were close to release site, there was no time to evacuate. Those residents closed their windows and doors and stuffed towels under doors and around windows to prevent vapors from entering. The NTSB concluded that a breathable and survivable atmosphere was maintained in those homes where the residents were not harmed.
Successful Examples: Nitro, WV December 5, 1995 A process vessel at a FMC chemical plant over pressurized and released a phosphorus chloride compound into the diked area around the vessel. In the rain, a hydrochloric acid cloud was formed which drifted offsite into an adjacent office and commercial area. More than eight hundred employees of a neighboring chemical plant and several offices sheltered in place while the plume passed over the area. No injuries were reported. Businesses in the area had been trained in sheltering for employees.
Shelter in Place Local officials on the scene are the best source of information for your particular situation. Following their instructions during and after emergencies regarding sheltering, food, water, and clean up methods is your safest choice. Remember that instructions to shelter in place are usually provided for a duration of a few hours, not days or weeks.
Disaster Supply Kit What to include: Three-day supply of non-perishable food. Three-day supply of water - one gallon of water per person, per day. Portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries. Flashlight and extra batteries. First aid kit and manual. Sanitation and hygiene items (moist towelettes and toilet paper). Matches and waterproof container. Whistle. Extra clothing. Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils, including a can opener. Photocopies of credit and identification cards. Cash and coins. Special needs items, such as prescription medications, eye glasses, contact lens solutions, and hearing aid batteries. Items for infants, such as formula, diapers, bottles, and pacifiers. Other items to meet your needs.
Resources: American Red Cross www.redcross.org www.redcross.org Federal Emergency Management Agency www.fema.gov www.fema.gov Occupational Safety and Health Administration www.osha.gov www.osha.gov United States Department of Agriculture www.usda.gov www.usda.gov