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University of Houston - Victoria

Homeland Security


Shelter In Place at Home

As you begin to take any action:

  1. Review your prepared SIP plans in your mind.
  2. Turn your battery powered radio/TV to emergency channels.
  3. Review the prevailing wind and weather conditions.

As soon as an attack is realized, move indoors. For all attack possibilities, initially don your filter mask (HEPA, N95 or Air-Aide) immediately and keep it on until told it is safe to take it off. Bring pets into the shelter area. Secure all windows and doors and cut off all air circulation systems. Take your Shelter-in-Place kit and your Bug-Out-Bag into your shelter area.

SHELTER-IN-PLACE KIT

  1. Portable radio and extra batteries
  2. Plastic Sheeting and Duct Tape
  3. Scissors or a sharp knife
  4. Drinking Water
  5. Cloth Towels (if not already sheltering in the bathroom)
  6. Flashlight and extra batteries
  7. Non perishable, dried, snack foods
  8. First Aid Kit
  9. Personal medications
  10. HEPA, N95 or Air-Aide mask
  11. Your plan(s) checklist

Make the selected shelter area as air tight as possible.

Do not use the phone to seek emergency information, to warn relatives, or to check on friends and relatives. At this point, everyone's previous planning is all that is needed.

Most terrorist attacks will require you to shelter in place for at least some part of the emergency. Chemical and biological agents will usually require shelter-in-place for 4-6 hours until such agents can dissipate.

Knowing the type of attack/emergency will help you make good choices.

Be prepared in case you do not get official attack/emergency information for hours and what you do receive may be conflicting.

Act on the worst-case scenario while including all other types of emergencies in your preparation.

If at home, choose a room with few or no windows or glass exterior doors and perhaps over-lapping interior door systems. A bathroom off the master bedroom is a good choice.

If the room you have chosen to shelter in has a wood floor or has carpet over wood, plan to cover the floor with plastic and tape. Do not forget to seal any electrical outlet boxes in the room, air/heating duct outlets, built in medicine cabinets, ceiling light fixtures, etc.

Until you know for sure that a chemical attack has not occurred, act as if it has. Second floor areas are primary shelter from chemical and biological attacks if available. Most chemicals used by terrorists, as well as many biological agents will tend to pool in low areas. Cover areas around windows and doors according to your prepared plan.

When the danger is radiological, the first floor will be best for sheltering in place. Put as much brick, concrete, and solid items between you and the outside as possible. Even the crawl space under a house, if built on supporting piers, is good if the area can be sealed.

If using a bathroom to shelter in place, fill the sinks and bathtubs with water as soon as you can after covering doors and windows. Water already in piping and water towers will usually be safe long enough to fill all bathroom receptacles. Have at least one gallon of drinking water for each person in the shelter.

If you do not shelter in a toilet area be sure to remember to plan for toilet needs for an extended period of time.

Do not worry about running out of air as this will probably be the least of your problems.