Shelter In Place
Do you know what it means to shelter in place in case of emergency? This is not a common occurrence, but if it does happen, you may not have much time to prepare. 

Video Transcript:

“It’s a beautiful day in the Black Hills of South Dakota, but in a few seconds, all that could change.

When the community sirens go off, do you know what to do?

Emergency planners in Pennington County have developed this video to help you become more aware and better prepared for emergencies right here at home.

The Community Warning sirens are an outdoor warning signal that an emergency has occurred. Many people think of the siren as a tornado warning. And while it is true that the warning sirens will be used in life-threatening weather situations, this isn’t the only reason for the sirens to be activated.

Any incident where the public might be in life threatening danger can result in the sirens being activated.

If you hear the community warning siren, this is what you should do.

  • The first and most important thing you should do is “go inside. The siren has been activated for the sole purpose of sending you inside to tune to a local radio or TV station to receive official information about what the emergency “is” and what you should “do."
  • If you are in your yard, go inside and tune to a local station.
  • If you are outside and cannot get into a building, then return to your car and tune to a local radio station.
  • It is very important that you listen carefully to the official information and follow instructions exactly. (radio comes in talking about a chemical spill)

In the event of a hazardous Materials Emergency, the most likely official instruction will be to “Shelter in Place.” Shelter in Place is a specific set of things to do to keep you and your family safe.

You have already completed the first 2 steps of Shelter in Place when the siren was activated.

You went inside your home or other building and you tuned into a local television or radio station to get ongoing emergency information.

If the official instructions are for you to Shelter in Place, this is what you should do.

  • Close and lock all doors and windows to the outside,
  • Next, turn off ALL heating and air conditioning equipment that draws in outside air.
  • After that, turn off all exhaust fans and ventilation systems.
  • If your home has fireplace, close the dampers.

All of these steps will protect you and your family from any potentially harmful chemicals that might have been released into the open air.

Once you have closed all of the openings to the outside air, continue to monitor your TV or radio for any updates.

It is important at this time to keep the phone lines clear.

Do not make phone calls unless you have an immediate emergency.

In extreme cases of emergency you may be instructed take shelter and “seal” a room in your home. If this happens you should immediately begin sealing any gaps to outside air. This includes using plastic to cover windows and sealing them with tape.

Closing in furnace ducts and covering them with plastic or a wet towel.

And seal the doors with plastic or wet towels.

Once you have sealed yourself in a safe room, remain calm and continue to monitor local news broadcasts for further instructions.

The Pennington County Local Emergency Planning Committee works very closely with industrial facilities in our area to keep you and your family safe.

Regular tests are conducted with industry alarm systems and emergency procedures.

If you live near one of these facilities you may have heard one of these facilities conduct their weekly test.

Add info about –local plants and when they run their test and how siren sounds-May not be any

The county’s sirens are a ----tone or a ---tone, and are tested on the first and third Saturday of each month at 12:00 noon.

If you live close to any of these sirens, you may have become conditioned to hearing them and hardly notice them anymore. In this case the important thing to remember is that any time you hear long or unusual siren activity, this is your notice to begin your emergency plan.

Go inside and turn on your radio or TV for more information.

The most important thing you can do to protect yourself in an emergency is to be prepared. Have a plan and supplies ready and occasionally practice what to do.

In an emergency, things can happen very fast.

It is recommended that you pre-cut plastic wrap to fit the windows and doors so they can be sealed quickly. Be sure to have tape on hand to seal the plastic as well.

Add footage of emergency kit itemsSpend a few minutes with your family going through these items and what they are used for.Be sure to include……water, food, flashlight and radio, first aid kit, prescription medications, sanitary items, cash, important documents, maps, contact info for family an friends and shelter in place supplies. And remember to include batteries for your flashlight and radio. or better yet, use a crank flashlight. Refresh your kit every 6 months when you change your clocks to or from daylight savings time.

The community warning sirens, “Shelter in Place”,  and an emergency kit are the best protection for you and your family in the event of a serious emergency in our community.