There may be a time when you are required to stay inside
your home for an extended period of time. Perhaps an evacuation
is not feasible or even possible. You might even have to
protect your home from harmful substances in the air outside,
such as volcano dust or airborne hazardous materials. To
live under these conditions you may need to practice
The list of things that you may need is based on the 72 Hour
Emergency Kit but it can extend beyond that as you will need to
be able to seal off windows and to pay more attention to
monitoring the air you breathe.
Below are some things to consider to help you become more
prepared for In-place Sheltering.
- Select a room or a set of rooms that will be inhabited
by your family members during this period. Be sure to
select access to a bathroom. Remember to keep the area
selected small enough to seal off but yet large enough to
accomodate all the people and animals who may inhabit it.
The selection of the area to be used needs to be done ahead
of time (like now) so you can properly prepare specifically
for that area.
- Consider that an upstairs, interior room may be more
desireable than a basement room because many times
contaminated air is heavier than ambient air and will sink
toward the basement.
- Consider that a full-size dog will consume twice as
much air as a human. Remember, a dog cannot sweat and needs
to pant to remain cool.
- Consider that each person will need 10 square feet of
floorspace to have enough air for one hour. So, if your
room is 20'x15'=300 sq. ft. This means that three people
can stay in there for one hour or one person can stay for 3
- Make a list of all of the things that you will bring to
that room when the emergency begins. It is much easier to
write them down ahead of time than it would be to try to
think of them all as the emergency begins.
- Plastic Sheeting - Have at least 250 sq. ft. of 2 to 4
mil clear Plastic Sheeting. If you use black, you might be
blocking much needed light. Precut and label each
piece for each window and door in the area to be
- Cotton Material Strips - These need to be 4" wide. Fold
it over double and after raising the window 1/2", place
this over the crack and tape it down on both sides with
Duct Tape. Then cover all other seams with tape.
- Tape - You will need several rolls of tape to seal the
plastic to the walls around all doors and windows and fan
vents. The best tape to use is Duct Tape that is rated from
medium grade to contractor's grade. Cover all cracks,
openings and seams including electrical outlets, fans,