Sheltering means staying inside with all doors, windows, and
ventilation systems closed. Sheltering reduces exposure to
the public. It reduces the chances of breathing in or
receiving body surface contamination from hazardous
example, taking shelter in a wooden house reduces exposure by
about 10 percent. A brick or concrete house reduces exposure
by about 40 percent. A large office or industrial building can
reduce exposure by up to 80 percent.
County officials will decide on sheltering or evacuation areas
based on the nature of the emergency. You will be told what to
do over local radio and television stations.
If You Are Told To Take Shelter
Gather members of household and pets inside (if children are
in a public school, do not pick them up unless the school or
the Emergency Alert System message instruct you to do so).
Learn the plans your private school has for emergency
evacuations by contacting the school directly.
Shut and tightly seal all doors and windows. Use duct tape
and heavy plastic sheeting or place towels to fill gaps in
door frames or windows. Be prepared to improvise and use
what you have available.
Turn off systems that bring in outside air. These include
furnaces, fireplaces, air conditioners, vents and clothes
Move to the center of the house or to the basement.
Take a radio with you and stay tuned to a local radio
station for continuing information.
If you must go outside, place a damp cloth or towel over
your mouth and nose. This will limit the amount of hazardous
materials you breathe in. Limit your time outside as much as