Shelter In Place (Chemical)

Remaining Safe in Your Home

One of the basic instructions you may be given in a chemical emergency is to shelter in place. This is a precaution aimed to keep you and your family safe while remaining in your home. If you are told to shelter in place, take your children and pets indoors immediately. 

What To Do

  • While gathering your family, you can provide a minimal amount of protection to your breathing by covering our mouth and nose with a damp cloth. Close all windows in your home. Turn off all fans, heating and air conditioning systems. Close the fireplace damper. Go to an above-ground room (not the basement) with the fewest windows and doors.
  • Take your Family Disaster Supplies Kit with you. Wet some towels and jam them in the crack under the doors.
  • Place tape around doors, windows, exhaust fans or vents. Use the plastic garbage bags to cover windows, outlets, and heat registers.
  • If you are told there is danger of explosion, close the window shades, blinds or curtains. To avoid injury, stay away from the windows. Stay in the room and listen to your radio until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate.

Additional Information

For more information about sheltering in place, please view additional information from the American Red Cross and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.