Staying Where You Are

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Whether you are at home, work or elsewhere, it might be best to stay where you are. Emergency officials will advise you about what to do.

  • Stay indoors away from all windows. Take shelter in an interior room with no windows if possible.
  • Stay in your shelter until local authorities say it is safe.
  • Do not drive unless absolutely necessary.
  • Keep the phone lines open for emergency calls.
  • Keep your emergency supply kit with you.
  • Listen to local television or radio stations for updates.
  • You might be told to create a barrier between yourself and the air outside, a process known as "sealing the room.” Use available information to assess the situation. If you see large amounts of debris in the air, or if local authorities say the air is harmful, you can tape up windows, doors and air vents if you need to seal off a room from outside air. 

    Sealing a room makes a temporary barrier between you and harmful air outside. Consider precutting and labeling materials. Anything you can do in advance will save time when it counts.

    To Seal the Room:

    • Bring your family and pets inside.
    • Lock doors, close windows, air vents and fireplace dampers.
    • Turn off fans, air conditioning and forced air heating systems.
    • Take your emergency supply kit.
    • Go into an interior room with as few windows as possible.
    • Seal all windows, doors and air vents with plastic sheeting and duct tape.
    • Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to seal gaps so that you create a barrier between yourself and any contamination.
    • Stay informed by watching TV, listening to the radio or checking the Internet often for official news and instructions as they become available.

    Before you seal a room, if there is damage to your home or you are instructed to turn off your utilities:

    • Locate the electric, gas and water shut-off valves.
    • Keep necessary tools near gas and water shut-off valves.
    • Teach family members how to turn off utilities.
    • If you turn the gas off, a professional must turn it back on. Do not attempt to do this yourself.

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