If you and your family were instructed to “Shelter in Place”, would you know what to do? Or why you were being asked to do it? Wikipedia defines the concept of sheltering in place as “a process for taking immediate shelter in a location readily accessible to the affected individual by sealing a single area (an example being a room) from outside contaminants and shutting off all HVAC systems. These actions would generally be taken after a chemical accident or terrorist attack. Depending on the exact situation, everyone within a specific distance of the incident may be ordered to shelter in place or people within a closer range may be ordered to evacuate while everyone else shelters in place. Sheltering in place is generally only used for a short period of time.”
So…Cordova isn’t exactly on the Top Ten hit list for nuclear or terrorist activity, but “sheltering in place” could also be used for a serious fallout from volcanic ash. And that is something we can identify with , isn’t it? Public officials could ask you to shelter in place if there were a biological, radiological, or chemical contaminate in the Cordova area with the potential to cause serious injury or death to humans, animals, or plants. Your goal would be to put a barrier between you and it.
Typically, this sheltering will be for a short time period, but a bit of preparation and wise choices of where to shelter will make the experience easier. Do not plan to make the trip across town. Shelter in place means to do it immediately, whether you are at home, work , or school.
Once a shelter in place is called, you are expected to:
- Go inside immediately. Choose a room with access to water , if possible.
- Bring all children and animals with you.
- Close and lock all doors and windows.
- Eliminate all ways in which contaminates could get inside. (Close the fireplace dampers!)
- Prepare a place for animals to eliminate their waste, because they cannot go outside.
- Tape doors and windows, if so instructed
- Listen to the radio, watch the scanner, call the Emergency Hotline 424-8888, and check the City website for further instructions….and to find out when the shelter in place is over.
And for now, you can learn more by looking up “shelter in place” online. Do it!
Be prudent. Be ready. Be prepared.