Shelter-in-Place for a Hazardous Material Spill

During a hazardous material spill, officials may tell you to stay indoors instead of evacuating to a different location. This is called “shelter-in-place”, which basically means stay inside. If you have to stay inside for an extended period, having a household emergency kit will be invaluable.  

If you are asked to shelter-in-place because a hazardous material has been released into the air, there are several things you can do to stay safe. Do not leave the building until emergency officials give the all clear.

Steps to Shelter in Place

  • Go indoors and stay there
  • Close all outside doors and every door inside the building
  • Close all windows
  • Do not use kitchen or bathroom vents
  • Set thermostats so air conditioners, furnaces and hot water heaters will not come on
  • Do not use fireplaces. Close all dampers
  • Do not operate the clothes dryer
  • Stay in an inside room away from windows and doors if possible
  • Reduce or avoid smoking as it contaminates the air
  • Do not leave the building until told to
  • Stay tuned to local television or radio for information
  • Do not use the telephone. Leave the phone lines open for emergency personnel

Shelter in Place

Shelter in Place