Shelter-in-place is the practice of going or remaining indoors during the release of an airborne hazardous material, as opposed to evacuating the area.

An accident may cause a hazardous material to enter the air.  Unless the chemical is flammable, such as propane, emergency responders recommend that you go and stay indoors (shelter-in-place) until you are told to evacuate. If the hazardous material is already around the building you are in, evacuation may not be safe since you would have to move through the hazardous material to leave.  Your building can help protect you.

Shelter-in-Place has been shown to be a safe response to a hazardous material release of 3 hours or less.  Our well-weather-stripped buildings slow the movement of the air into the buildings and any hazardous material that does enter is weakened when it mixes with indoor air.  It is important to stay indoors, especially if you see a cloud, vapour or smoke outdoors, or if you can smell it indoors.  You will be safer inside. 

There is no need to go to school to get your children.  Schools and the ELC in Cartwright-Roblin Municipality should have their own shelter-in-place programs.  If you wish to confirm this, you may call your school.


 Go indoors and stay there.

 Close all windows and all outside doors and every door inside the building.

 Reduce the amount of air entering the building:

 Turn off kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans.

 Set thermostats so that air conditioners, furnaces, and hot water heaters will not come on.

 Do not use fireplaces. Close all dampers.

 Do not use clothes dryers.

 Shelter in an inside room away from windows if possible.

For added protection:

 Seal cracks around the doorway with wide tape and a rolled up damp towel at the floor space.

 If there is a window, tape a piece of plastic over the window to seal it. Be prepared ahead of time by cutting a piece of plastic to fit the window size and storing it and some tape in your shelter-in-place room.

 Reduce or avoid smoking as it contaminates the air.

• Do not use the phone unnecessarily; you may tie up the lines.

 Stay tuned to local television or radio for information.

• Do not leave the building until told it is safe to do so.

 If you are in a vehicle and encounter an airborne hazardous material release:

 Move away from the “danger zone” and avoid visible clouds.  In most cases you are safer to drive from the area than to try and wait it out in a vehicle.

 If you cannot drive out of the danger area, close all windows, doors and air vents.  Shut off the heater or air conditioner so that it is not blowing air.

 Shut off your vehicle, turn on your hazard lights and use your horn and headlights to attract attention.        

 Wait with the radio on.  Follow all instructions from emergency service personnel.