Sheltering in Place

Emergency officials may instruct you to go or remain indoors during a hazardous materials spill, which reduces the amount of air moving into and out of a building until the hazard passes.

Quick tips for sheltering in place

Before you're ready to shelter in place

There are a number of steps you need to take before you'll be able to shelter in place.

Learn how to prepare to shelter in place

What to do during a shelter-in-place emergency

  1. Go inside immediately and bring pets
  2. Close all doors and windows
  3. Shut down furnace, air conditioner, exhaust fans, and vents
  4. Close fireplace dampers
  5. Go inside your shelter-in-place room and get your shelter-in-place kit
  6. Seal any doors, windows, and vents with plastic sheeting and tape
  7. Place wet towels at base of door(s)
  8. Monitor media — radio, TV, cell phone, social media — for updates
  9. Remain in the room until emergency officials say it is safe to leave
  10. If you must travel outside, cover your nose and mouth with a wet towel

What to do after a shelter-in-place emergency

When the "All Clear" message is issued by an emergency broadcast or news alert:

  • everyone can leave the room
  • open all doors to ventilate
  • replenish and re-stow shelter-in-place kit in its designated location

Take a closer look

Print out these checklists, forms, and other tools

Visit these other online resources for more helping preparing