Chemical spills, storms and other events may require the need to shelter-in-place. If you find yourself in this situation, your organization should be prepared to host its employees until the shelter-in-place order is lifted. This week's articles will help with those preparations.
You should understand and plan for both evacuating and sheltering-in-place.
Depending on your location and the type of event, shelter in place plans will entail different responses.
How effective - really - are duct tape and plastic?
Sheltering-in-place demands a safe environment.
Experts at Stanford University have concluded that staying put could be the best option in the event of nuclear incident.
What are a landlord's obligations under a shelter-in-place order?
As always, we look forward to hearing your comments & insights regarding business continuity.
If you have a topic you'd like us to cover, email me at
Bob Mellinger, President
Depending on your circumstances and the type of emergency, the first important decision is whether you stay put or get away. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Use common sense and available information, including what you are learning here, to determine if there is immediate danger. Check out these specific procedures for shelter-in-place at a worksite.
2. Shelter in Place: When Staying Put is Your Best Option
If an office building catches fire, the building management team or the security director will call for an evacuation. But what if spring weather produces a tornado? Instead of an evacuation, staying put or sheltering in place might make more sense.
3. Will Duct Tape and Plastic Really Work?
Expedient sheltering involves the use of common materials to enhance the safety of a room inside a building against the impacts of a chemical plume. The central premise behind taping and sealing with duct tape and plastic is to reduce airflow into a room. This paper reviews issues associated with the use of expedient sheltering materials and the effectiveness of this strategy.
4. Shelter in place is more than just "staying inside"
Most of our business continuity plans include evacuation procedures of some sort. Many are simply "get out and gather in the parking lot." Only a few organizations have true "shelter-in-place" options. I use the term "options" deliberately, because "shelter-in-place" is more than just staying inside a building. Shelter-in-place demands a safe environment.
5. Study Calls for Sheltering-in-Place in the Event of Nuclear Attack
Stanford experts have concluded that in the event of a nuclear detonation, people in large metropolitan areas are better off sheltering-in-place in basements for 12-24 hours than trying to evacuate immediately, unless a lengthy warning period is provided. The scientific and engineering analysts comprehensively modeled the impacts of a detonation in downtown Washington D.C. and calculated clogged exit roads would pose more significant risks by exposing evacuees to radiation than if people were to remain in place at the center of large buildings or in basements.
6. Shelter-in-Place Orders: What Must a Landlord Do?
If hazardous materials are released -- or threatened to be released -- during an emergency that may affect your property, authorities may instruct the public to "shelter-in-place." This means that everyone must immediately take refuge in a room with as few windows and as little ventilation as possible, to minimize the risk of exposure to airborne chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants. Property owners, including landlords, must cooperate by letting people take shelter at their property. For example, if a plane carrying hazardous materials crashes or a chemical plant catches fire, authorities may instruct nearby property and business owners to allow the public to shelter-in-place on their property.
Quote of the Week:
"Many lives can be saved by simply sheltering-in-place"