means staying inside with all doors and windows closed and
ventilation systems turned off. Sheltering reduces exposure
to radioactive material. It reduces the chances of breathing
in or receiving body surface contamination from radioactive
materials if they pass overhead.
example, taking shelter in a wooden house reduces exposure
by about 10 percent. A brick or concrete house reduces exposure
by about 40 percent. A large office or industrial building
can reduce exposure by up to 80 percent.
officials will decide on sheltering or evacuation areas based
on the nature of the emergency. You will be told what to do
over local radio and television stations.
You Are Told To Take Shelter
members of house hold and pets inside (if children are in
public school, do not pick them up unless the school or the
Emergency Alert System message instruct you to do so. If schools
are sheltering students, they will not open their doors.)
and tightly seal all doors and windows. Use duct tape and
heavy plastic sheeting or place towels to fill gaps in door
frames or windows. Be prepared to improvise and use what you
Turn off systems that bring in outside air. These include
furnaces, fireplaces, air conditioners, vents and clothes
Move to the center of the house or to the basement.
Take a radio with you and stay tuned to a local radio station
for continuing information.
If you must go outside, place a damp cloth or towel over your
mouth and nose. This will limit the amount of radioactive
materials you breathe in. Limit your time outside as much
Take this information with you and refer to the Evacuation
section for information. You may be told to evacuate later
if the situation changes.
preparing for emergencies in advance is the best way to help
protect yourself and your family.