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In-Place Sheltering

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 In-place Sheltering.

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 hours.
  • 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 sealed.
  • 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, etc.


Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center, Inc.

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