Shelter In Place: Make Your Kitsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Shelter In Place
[ Courtesy of ECHO Caer Group, Emergency Communications for Hazardous Operations, taught through the Portland, Oregon Fire Dept Training Center ]
[ For Educational Purposes ]
"There may be a time when an emergency takes place in your community due to an airborne toxic chemical release. The outside air quality may be affected to the point that it is not safe to be outside or evacuate. In a case like this it is usually safer to shelter-in-place until wind disperses and moves the toxic chemical away.
Many, but not all, facilities (chemical/industrial plants) and emergency vehicles have alarm, siren, horn, or similar notification devices or systems. A three to five minute continuous signal means:
"Turn on TV or radio. Listen for essential emergency information."
These various signal devices may use different tones. The key is that they will be continuously activated for three to five minutes. If you hear this signal go inside immediately and turn on your radio or TV.
For Airborne toxic chemical releases the safest immediate action is to shelter-inplace while listening for further instructions.
1. Move inside immediately and turn on radio or TV for emergency information.
Proceed right away to:
2. Close all windows and doors.
3. Turn off ventilation systems. Remember heating, cooling, air pumps, bathroom fans, kitchen fans, oven/stove ventilation fans, dryer exhaust, chemney/fireplace vents, etc.
4. In buildings, go into and seal a room if possible.
5. Continue to listen to radio or TV for further instructions.
Go inside the nearest structure such as a home, school, store, public building. Bring pets inside if practical. If indoors already, stay there. Turn on radio or TV for emergency information. If you are in a vehicle, close all windows, manual vents and ventilation systems.
In a structure:
Shut all windows, doors, chimney or fire place vents. This includes everything that can quickly and easily be closed to prevent the chemical from entering.
Turn off forced air heating or cooling systems. Turn of stove and bathroom exhaust fans.
Go into a room, preferably with no, or few, windows or outside air vents. If possible seal doors, windows, vents, etc. with plastic and tape or wet rags.
Continue to listen to the radio or TV on a local emergency alert system station until the emergency is over or until you are given instruction to evacuate. (Use a battery powered radio if the power is off.)
SHELTER IN PLACE PRE-PLANNING
It is important that you have a plan for your home or business for sheltering-in-place. Some key steps in this plan are:
* Knowing what doors and windows are likely to be open and assigning some one to check and close and LOCK them. Locking seals better.
* Knowing where the manual vents are and how to close them.
* Knowing where forced air heating or cooling controls/power exhaust vents are and how to turn them off.
* Knowing what room you will go to and how to seal it. Have a kit pre-prepared for this consisting of things such as plastic sheeting, strong tape, duct tape, rags, towels, water, snacks, etc.
Pre-cut the plastic to completely seal all windows and doors and any vents in your designated shelter room. With easy-to-see large labels, clearly mark on the plastic which opening/window/door/vent it fits.
* Have a radio (preferably two). Have one electric and one battery operated radio in the room you've identified. Know the emergency alert system station(s) for your area and have the station numbers written on a piece of tape attached to the radio.
Most chemical release incidents are short-term in nature. But for any potential emergency situation, always keep an adequate supply of contained food and water sources, flashlights, first aid kit, batteries, a portable radio, essential medicines and other essentials. Practice safety drills to be prepared and know the emergency plans for your workplace and schools.
WHAT TO DO IN A CHEMICAL EMERGENCY (SHELTER-IN-PLACE)
When a release or spill is identified, some chemical plants dispatch trained emergency responders to quickly assess the situation and plan an approrpiate response. If offsite impacts are possible, local response agencies (Emergency Management Agency, Fire Department, etc) are contacted and consulted with. The local response agencies will then decide what actions, if any, are necessary to protect the surrounding community.
[ Note: these instructions were not written with Y2K in mind, when communications may be overwhelmed or out and emergency responders completely overwhelmed. ]
Sheltering inside a building is considered to be a proven method of protecting yourself and your family in the event of an accidental release.
IF ASKED TO SHELTER IN PLACE
* Close all doors to the outside and close and lock all windows (windows sometimes seal better when locked);
* Turn off ventilation systems;
* Monitor the local Emergency Alert System (EAS) radio station for updates and remain in shelter until authorities indicate it is safe to come out.
Select a room in the building where occupants can be the most comfortable and which is easy to seal off. This room should, if possible, provide access to water, toilet facilities, and adequate room for people to sit or lie down. The room should have a battery-powered radio, snack foods, and bottled water.
Many people opt for the master bedroom area with bathroom.
If the gas or vapor is soluble or even partially soluble in water -- hold a wet cloth or handkerchief over your nose and mouth if the gases start to bother you. For a higher degree of protection, go into the bathroom, close the door, and turn on the shower in a strong spray to "wash" the air. Seal any openings to the outside of the bathroom as best as you can. Don't worry about running out of air to breathe. That is highly unlikely in normal homes and buildings.
Be sure to make Shelter-In-Place kits, with pre-cut, marked heavy plastic and strong tape to seal your closed doors, windows, vents, exhaust systems -- anywhere anything from outside could get in. Keep your kit accessible in the designated room. Make sure all members of the family know what the kit is for, how to use it, and why. Drill and practice Sheltering-In-Place.
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-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 08, 1999
CIA, FEMA, local Fire Depts, various Reports -- all are very concerned about HazMat accidents and chemical spills. Many safety routines and processing procedures are computerized. Chemicals are used widely in industry, and are transported on roads, water, and railways daily. If you live near a city or roads, this information and these simple common-sense precautions could save your life.
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-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (email@example.com), June 08, 1999.
Stop it! I'm going to panic.
-- dave (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 08, 1999.
Thanks for the info and for doing the typing, Ashton & Leska!
-- Libby Alexander (email@example.com), June 08, 1999.
At your service, Libby :-)
To the top for those seriously preparing realistically.
-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 10, 1999.
Many of the preparations for a shelter in place are things that you'll want to have anyway for the ambiguous Y2K emergency. Stocking a shelter room will give you a logical place to store this equipment together in one place. You may be called (or decide by yourself) to batton down the hatches at home due to an imminent nuclear strike, chemical or biological warfare or terrorism, a nuclear plant meltdown or accident at any type of factory, epidemics or whatever the heck may be dripping off chemtrails.
-- Dancr (email@example.com), June 13, 1999.
Good point, Dancr. It helps to have one place to put those sorts of things so you don't have to go rooting through all of your supplies to pick out what you need...
-- Libby Alexander (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 13, 1999.
7/6/99 -- 4:45 AM
Plant Blast Causes Widespread Sickness; 2 Workers Critical
GRAMERCY, La. (AP) - Two aluminum plant workers were in critical condition today after explosions that injured at least 13 colleagues and sent a caustic chemical into the community, sickening 100 people.
Investigators have not determined what caused the three explosions early Monday at the Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Co.
The blasts killed no one but sent residents to hospitals with nausea and respiratory problems after a reddish cloud of bauxite ore and sodium hydroxide blew into town.
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-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (email@example.com), July 06, 1999.