Morgan County Emergency Management Agency
Office of Homeland Security

What is Shelter-In-Place?

Shelter-In-Place simply means staying inside your home, business, or other facility, or seeking shelter in the nearest available building.  
During an accidental release of toxic chemicals or emergencies involving hazardous materials where air quality may be threatened, Shelter-In-
Place keeps you inside a protected area and out of danger.

When should I use Shelter-In-Place?

Local authorities are responsible for issuing orders for Shelter-In-Place during chemical or hazardous material emergencies.  You may
receive notice directly from police or fire officials, siren notification, telephone notification, or through radio or television broadcasts.
As soon as you are notified that an emergency situation exits in your area, tune your local Emergency Alert System (EAS) station for further
Emergency information and steps to be taken will be broadcast regularly until the emergency is over.  For more information, view and
download the entire Shelter-In-Place or Evacuate Booklet Shelter-In-Place At Home

If you are asked to Shelter-In-Place, take the following actions:
  • If possible, bring outdoor pets inside.
  • Close and lock all doors and windows to the outside.
  • Turn off all heating/air-conditioning systems and switch inlet or vents to the “closed” position.
  • Close all fireplace dampers.
  • Seal gaps around window-type air-conditioners, fireplace dampers, doors and windows with plastic sheeting, wax paper, aluminum wrap
    or any other suitable material and tape.
  • Seal bathroom exhaust fans or fills, range vents, dryer vents, and any other openings to the best extent possible.
  • Close drapes or shades over windows. Stay away from windows.
  • Remain in place until you are told by police or fire officials, or through radio /television broadcasts that it is safe to leave.

If time does not permit you to seal the entire home, close as many internal doors as possible, move to the most central room in the home and
seal that room as above.

What If I Can't Find Shelter?

Studies indicate that taking shelter is the best response to a chemical release.  Even a poorly sealed building or vehicle provides some
protection against a release. If you can’t get inside, move so the wind is blowing from your left to right, or right to left, but not directly into your
face or from behind you. This would allow you the best opportunity to get away from the highest concentration of the release.


Disasters force people to evacuate their homes more often than you may realize.  Transportation or industrial accidents release harmful
substances, forcing thousands of people to leave their homes for a safer area.  Fires and floods result in evacuation even more frequently,
as well as other natural disasters.
What To Do ≈ What Not To Do
Stay inside your home, place of business, or another enclosed building.
Tune to an Emergency Alert System (EAS) station on your radio or television for further information.
Don’t go outside or attempt to drive unless you are specifically instructed to evacuate. (Evacuation
procedures may vary by community.)
Don’t call 9-1-1 to check on the status of the emergency. Listen to your radio for further information
and updates.
60 South Fourth Street
McConnelsville, Ohio 43756

Phone: 740.962.3900
Fax: 740.962.3901
Email: morganema58@yahoo.com
Morgan County EMA/OHS
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