[Page Content For FAQs]
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What type of event would require sheltering-in-place?
Emergency officials would likely advise individuals to shelter-in-place when the chemical is expected to dissipate in a short time period, there is not time to evacuate, or chemical fumes could quickly overtake you if you do not seek shelter immediately.
Studies have shown that taking steps to temporary seal off a room using common materials enhances the safety of a room against the impact of a chemical plume.
The temporary shelter created by a shelter-in-place room definitely provides more protection than basic sheltering, i.e. going indoors, closing windows and doors and shutting off HVAC systems.
What room should you choose to shelter-in-place?
You should take into account which room will be the quickest room to seal in order to prevent chemicals from entering the area.
People often select a bathroom as they often are located in the interior of a home and tend to have few, if any windows. They also allow for the use of facilities while sheltering-in-place.
Other rooms that may be appropriate include other interior rooms, rooms with one small window, or rooms with no exterior doors.
What room should we use if we don't have a room without windows?
The best room is the room with the fewest windows and doors. Since each opening will require time to seal it off, minimizing the number that you will need to seal will shorten the time it takes to reduce airflow into the room.
The room should be easy to get to and provide adequate space for family members.
Why does the government recommend duct tape and plastic sheeting?
The items can be used to "shelter-in-place," creating a room with reduced air infiltration of chemical agents into an area.
They are resistant to permeation from chemical agents.
They provide the ability to rapidly exit from a temporary shelter-in-place once the plume has passed.
The items are readily available for the general public.
Is there a particular type (brand) of duct tape that citizens should buy?
DHS recommends using duct tape with a minimum thickness of 10 mil(0.01 in).
DHS does not recommend particular brands.
If you do not have duct tape, any tape that will help seal off a room and hold down the plastic sheeting can be used.