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Shelter In Place

In some circumstances it may be safer for people to take shelter in their homes, schools or places of work (e.g., in the event of a toxic chemical spill.)

If you are advised to shelter in place, follow these instructions:

  • Get inside as quickly as possible.
  • Go to an interior room above ground if possible; some chemicals are heavier than air and will pool in low-lying areas like basements.
  • Use stairwells instead of elevators.
  • Listen to your battery-powered radio for information. You will be advised what the hazardous material is and what the signs and symptoms of overexposure are.
  • Turn off all heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
  • Close all vents leading to the outside.
  • Close all doors, windows, fireplace flues, vents and other openings. If there are any gaps in the weather stripping, use duct tape, plastic wrap and/or aluminium foil to seal the leaks.
  • Close drapes, curtains and shades. Stay away from external windows once you have closed window coverings and sealed any gaps.
  • Don't operate electrical appliances or light switches, as it could ignite fumes from the chemical.
  • Use telephones only if you need immediate emergency assistance. You will be directed how to seek medical help outside the evacuation area.