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Based on US Navy Combat Medicine





  Shelter in


 Bag, Combat

    Antibiotic     Guidelines

What to do In an Emergency Event

Shelter in Place

Shelter-in-place means to remain inside your home or office until an emergency has passed.

If you are advised to shelter-in-place it will be because of hazardous conditions.

Here's what you can do to help protect yourself:


Immediately close and lock all windows and exterior doors. It is best not to open the door for anyone unless officials sound the all clear.

Turn off all heating, air conditioning units and/or fans.

Close the fireplace damper—UNLESS--there is a fire in the fireplace then leave the damper open. For a wood heater (IF it has no fire in it), shut the air intake damper on the stove if possible.

Check your disaster supply kit, make sure the radio and flashlight are working and move them to your “safe room” if they are not already there.

Go to an interior Safe Room, preferably one without windows and above ground level.

Using tape, seal all cracks around the door and over any vents leading into the room and put a wet towel across the bottom of the door. If your safe room is the bathroom, do all of the above and stopper the sink and bathtub too.

Specific - Chemical Event

In the case of a Chemical event, an aboveground location is best because some chemicals are heavier than air, and will seep into basements even if windows are closed.

If it is a chemical accident or attack move as high as possible. Go upstairs if possible.

Remember: Do not go into a basement if it is a chemical event! (see: Chemical Event)


In case of a known Nuclear hazard or event, then a basement or the center of a building will provide the most shielding.

Take your KIO3 or KI as directed.

Stay away from windows. They won't stop radiation.

Preparing for Evacuation

Keep listening to your radio or television until you are told all is safe, or, you are told to evacuate. Officials may call for evacuation in specific areas which are at greatest risk in the affected community.

Emergency Supply Kit (Safe Room): Sealed food, water, extra clothing, bedding, medicine, flashlights, battery operated radio, first aid supplies, etc.


If you are sheltering in place and in your safe room, you must refresh your air supply every 2 to 3 hours; otherwise you could suffocate.

The door to your inner room may be opened for a few minutes so fresh air will enter. When doing this, wear your scarf or mask. Make sure that you have no open food or exposed dishes.

If there is a shower in the room with you, you should turn it on before the door is opened and leave it on until the door is closed.

This provides a moisture shield which will help keep radioactive contaminates or chemicals or biologicals at a minimum.

Copyright 2003 Medical Corps

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