Chemical Emergencies


When should you Shelter in Place?

  • When instructed by emergency personnel
  • or,
  • If you encounter a vapor cloud or an unusual odor, you should take steps to Shelter in Place.

Go Inside
Stay calm, go inside and listen for the emergency information or evacuation announcements by fire or police departments. Prepare your shelter.

Call in Your Children where they can be supervised. Call in your pets. Help the elderly or handicapped and give temporary shelter to pedestrians.

Do Not Pick Up Your Children from School/Daycare
School regulations ensure a swift orderly response to an official call for evacuation or to Shelter in Place. The presence of parents searching for their children can only cause confusion and delays. It can also be dangerous for you and your children. Contact your school in advance so you know their procedures!


How do you prepare your Shelter?

  • Seal your house so contaminants cannot enter.
  • Turn off fans, heating, cooling or ventilation systems.
  • Close and lock windows and doors.
  • Fully extinguish fires in the fireplace with water then close dampers.
  • Close off non-essential rooms such as storage areas, laundry rooms, and extra bedrooms.
  • Seal gaps under doorways and windows with any available material (wet towels, duct tape, newspaper, etc.)
  • Seal gaps around window and air conditioning units, bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans, and stove and dryer vents with duct tape and plastic sheeting, or aluminum wrap.

If you are in your car, seal up by closing windows and shutting vents.


How will you be notified to Shelter in Place in

  • Emergency Alert System (EAS) Tune to Radio/Television

Announcements concerning the emergency, specific evacuation procedures as well as all-clear signals will be broadcast by regional radio, television and cable stations.

  • Route Alerting
Pay attention to loud speaker announcements.
Emergency personnel may give you specific directions via loud speaker or door-to-door contact.

Emergency Tips
Being inside can provide you with added protection from a hazardous materials release. Staying inside is safer than trying to outrun a release!

You can take effective measures in the event of a hazardous chemicals incident. NCREPD's goal is to provide useful steps to insure your safety and that of your family.

Despite all safety precautions, it is possible that a chemical accident occurring anywhere in the area could create irritating or hazardous conditions for those people in close proximity.

In case of a hazardous materials emergency, do not listen to rumors. The radio and TV will tell you what actions you might need to take.

Remember, in case of a hazardous incident:

  • Shelter
  • Shut
  • Listen

Do not tie up telephones/cell phones and/or emergency phone lines. Use the phone only when absolutely necessary. Emergency Services will need every available phone line to initiate help and rescue operations.

The Chilhowie Fire Department wants you to plan to get out alive!

Return to list