Tips for ‘shelter in place’ during Irene

Tips for ‘shelter in place’ during Irene

Wagner College's Office of Public Safety has prepared some shelter-in-place tips for your home:
When evacuation to shelters is either inappropriate or impossible, you may be asked to stay where you are. This could be as simple as remaining at home while officials clear hazards from a nearby area, or it could require more active measures during emergencies involving contaminated air.
Identify a room with few doors or windows to shelter in place. Ideally the room should allow at least 10 square feet per person.
When officials advise you to shelter in place, act quickly and follow instructions. Your main objective should be to get to a safe indoor location. You will likely be in your "safe room" for no more than a few hours. Once inside:

  • If there is time, close and lock all windows and doors, close fireplace dampers.
  • Turn off ventilation systems.
  • Make sure you have emergency supplies.
  • Tune in to local radio or TV stations to receive updates from emergency officials.
  • Only seal doors and windows when instructed to do so by emergency officials.
  • If your children are at school, do not pick them up until the danger has passed and shelter-in-place orders have been lifted. School officials have shelter-in-place procedures. You will only endanger yourself by leaving a safe area during the emergency.

For an Emergency Supply Kit -- Keep enough supplies in your home to survive on your own, or shelter in place, for at least 3 days. If possible, keep these materials in an easily accessible, separate container or special cupboard. You should indicate to your household members that these supplies are for emergencies only. Check expiration dates of food and update your kits when you change your clock during daylight-saving times. The kit should include:

  • One gallon of drinking water per person per day
  • Non-perishable, ready-to-eat canned foods and manual can opener
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight*
  • Battery-operated AM/FM radio and extra batteries (you can also buy wind-up radios that do not require batteries)
  • Whistle
  • Iodine tablets or one quart of unscented bleach (for disinfecting water ONLY if directed to do so by health officials) and eyedropper (for adding bleach to water)
  • Personal hygiene items: soap, feminine hygiene products, toothbrush and toothpaste, etc.
  • Phone that does not rely on electricity
  • Child care supplies or other special care items

For a Go Bag -- Every household should pack a "Go Bag" -- a collection of items you may need in the event of an evacuation. A Go Bag should be packed in a sturdy, easy-to-carry container such as a backpack or suitcase on wheels. A Go Bag should be easily accessible if you have to leave your home in a hurry. Make sure it is ready to go at all times of the year. Here's what should go into a Go Bag:

  • Copies of your important documents in a waterproof and portable container (insurance cards, photo IDs, proof of address, etc.)
  • Extra set of car and house keys
  • Credit and ATM cards and cash, especially in small denominations. We recommend you keep at least $50-$100 on hand.
  • Bottled water and non-perishable food such as energy or granola bars
  • Flashlight (Note: Traditional flashlight bulbs have limited lifespans. Light Emitting Diode (LED) flashlights, however, are more durable and last up to 10 times longer than traditional bulbs.)
  • Battery-operated AM/FM radio and extra batteries
  • Keep a list of the medications each member of your household takes, why they take them, and their dosages. Medication information and other essential personal items. If you store extra medication in your Go Bag, be sure to refill it before it expires.
  • First-aid kit
  • Contact and meeting place information for your household, and a small regional map
  • Child care supplies or other special care items