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Neighbor to Neighbor -- The Downtown Solution: IPNTA's Guide to Community Healing

EMERGENCY RESPONSE: Deciding When to Evacuate Your Apartment

Depending on the circumstances, the first decision is whether to stay or go. If it is not possible to get information from authorities or news, we need to use common sense and whatever information is available. If you have any doubts, stay where you are.

Staying In. In the event of hazardous materials being released into the air, whether accidentally or intentionally, we may need to "Shelter-in-Place." This does not mean going to a shelter, but rather, that it may be temporarily safer to stay indoors. If you see large amounts of debris in the air, or if authorities say the air is badly contaminated, you may want to stay inside.

To "Shelter-in-Place", Ready.gov recommends the following:

• Bring your family and pets inside
• Lock doors, close windows, air vents and fireplace dampers
• Turn off fans, air conditioning and forced air heating systems
• Take your emergency supply kit unless you have reason to believe it has been contaminated
• Go into an interior room with few windows, if possible
• Seal all windows, doors and air vents with plastic sheeting and duct tape. Consider measuring and cutting the sheeting in advance to save time
• Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to seal gaps so that you create a barrier between yourself and any contamination
• Local authorities may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for official news and instructions as theybecome available.

FEMA – "Deciding to Stay or Go" http://www.ready.gov/stay_or_go.html
Red Cross – "Shelter-in-Place in an Emergency": http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/beprepared/shelterinplace.html

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