Shelter in Place Tips to Keep You Safe

Shelter in Place Tips to Keep You Safe

You may have heard the words “shelter in place” used often over the news or during an emergency situation. But do you really know what this means? Are you fully aware of what you need to do in case you find yourself in such a situation?

Sheltering in place is a short-term solution to address a biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological threat. Individuals that are under such hazards immediately need to seek shelter inside a nearby enclosed structure. Once inside, they would have to close all the doors, windows, and potential ventilation. The objective is to keep all contaminated outside air from seeping inside.

The following tips below will help you take the necessary actions in sheltering in place effectively.

Shelter in Place Tips to Keep You Safe

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1. Learn How To Shelter in Place at Work, at Home, or in Your Vehicle

You can be almost anywhere when the local authorities sound the Shelter in Place alarm. It is best that you are knowledgeable enough to handle such a situation wherever you may be.

2. Check Your Home Emergency Kit

Check Your Home Emergency Kit | Tips for Sheltering in Place
Check Your Home Emergency Kit Photo by The Perfect Prepper

Other than the basics, your home emergency kit should contain pet food, OTC drugs for your members with prescription needs, water purification tablets, anti-nuclear radiation potassium iodide tablets, and an ABC rated Fire Extinguisher, just to name a few.

3. Include Documents in your Emergency Kit

Include Documents in your Emergency Kit | Tips for Sheltering in Place
Include Documents in your Emergency Kit Photo by Wise Geek

Important documents like medical and immunization records, insurance cards, spare keys, extra cash, and a map are essential elements that should be part of your kit. Most especially if you have a family member with serious/on-going medical conditions.

4. Choose a Safe Room

Choose a Safe Room | Tips for Sheltering in Place
Choose a Safe Room Photo by Tornado Alley Armor

If you can’t have a standard safe room installed, choosing a particular room in your home that has the fewest or no windows at all would be the next best thing. A master bedroom would be an ideal location for a safe room.

5. Prepare a Safe Place for Your Pets

Prepare a Safe Place for Your Pets | Tips for Sheltering in Place
Prepare a Safe Place for Your Pets Photo by Instructables

Make sure the safe place is pet-friendly. Get rid of any plants or toxic chemicals. Block places where your pets might get stuck in if they get frightened like vents or underneath heavy furniture.

6. Check for Warning Systems

Check for Warning Systems | Tips for Sheltering in Place
Check for Warning Systems Photo by WYMT

It is important to know whether or not you can see and hear the warning systems in your locality. Your local government may have sirens or warning lights installed in your area. Knowing where these are and how they sound like is critical for higher chances of survival.

7. Prepare a Family Emergency Plan

Prepare a Family Emergency Plan | Tips for Sheltering in Place
Prepare a Family Emergency Plan Photo by Picniic

Advance preparation and constant shelter in place drills will make you and your family prepared with what to do, where to go, how, and where to find each other. Most importantly, plot out how you can all communicate with each other if you part ways and require seeking shelter in another place.

8. Stockpile Adequate Supplies for You and Your Family

Stockpile Adequate Supplies for You and Your Family | Tips for Sheltering in Place
Stockpile Adequate Supplies for You and Your Family Photo by PaperSheepdog

At least a 3-day supply will get you through such a situation. Make sure you also have supplies for specific needs for persons with disabilities or medical needs.

9. Stockpile Bathroom Tissue

Stockpile Bathroom Tissue | Tips for Sheltering in Place
Stockpile Bathroom Tissue Photo by Survival Life

This item is often overlooked and somehow preppers realize its importance when it’s already too late. This will show you how to come up with a figure on how much tissue you should have in your stockpile. It will depend on how many people are in your house and how much BT you use on a daily basis.

10. Purchase Additional Medical Supplies

Purchase Additional Medical Supplies | Tips for Sheltering in Place
Purchase Additional Medical Supplies Photo by Backdoor Survival

You must have extra medical supplies just in case. Disposable gloves, rubber or nitrile gloves, N100 masks, and disinfectants such as hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, and bleach. Other items such as duct tape, plastic sheeting material, and tarps are also equally important.

11. Invest in Solar Lanterns

Invest in Solar Lanterns | Tips for Sheltering in Place
Invest in Solar Lanterns Photo by Aishilely

Solar lanterns are the most effective and cheapest way to keep your home sufficiently lit during a blackout. You would not worry about batteries anymore and it should be bright enough for you to find your way around without stumbling.

12. Have a Store-A-Potty Ready

Have a Store-A-Potty Ready | Tips for Sheltering in Place
Have a Store-A-Potty Ready Photo by Life Secure

This 72-hour emergency toilet kit has an airtight lid, snap-on toilet seat, a 3 day supply of biohazard bags, and deodorizer packets. Other than making sure you have enough food and water, you can keep your health in tip-top shape through proper sanitation and hygiene.

13. Form a Personal Support Network

Form a Personal Support Network | Tips for Sheltering in Place
Form a Personal Support Network Photo by Smile Politely

Support teams can consist of family, co-workers, friends, and caretakers. Inform them of your emergency plan and give them a set of extra keys to your home. Provide a copy of all important documents and medications to at least one out-of-state contact.

14. Prepare an Evacuation Plan

Prepare an Evacuation Plan | Tips for Sheltering in Place
Prepare an Evacuation Plan Photo by Patio Drugs

Once authorities order that it is clear to vacate the place where you’re sheltering in you must know where to go next. Designate meeting places outside your neighborhood. Prepare alternate exit routes in case the ones you’re traveling at might be inaccessible.

15. Close the Business or Worksite

Close the Business or Worksite | Tips for Sheltering in Place

This is the first thing you should do. Ask the customers to stay. List down all the names of those who are with you in the room and contact your business designated emergency contact to let them know who is with you. Include their affiliation in your business.

16. Close and Activate the School’s Emergency Plan

Close and Activate the School’s Emergency Plan | Tips for Sheltering in Place
Close and Activate the School’s Emergency Plan Photo by WKYT

This should be a plan that needs regular practice so students and faculty would know what to do in case of an emergency. Employees should be familiar with the building’s mechanical systems to turn them off and have it sealed immediately.

17. Stay in Your Vehicle

Stay in Your Vehicle | Tips for Sheltering in Place

If it’s not possible to go to a building or your home, the safest and quickest way possible is for you to stay in your vehicle. Park in the safest place you could find. If possible under a shaded area. Turn off the engine, close the windows and vents. Grab your emergency kit and listen to the radio.

18. Follow Protective Actions and Protective Actions Guides

The United States Department of Health and Human Services have a set of guidelines put together by the Radiation Emergency Medical Management or REMM. This will enable you to follow various ways to protect your family if you need to seek shelter in another place.

19. Seal Doors, Windows, and Air Vents with Plastic Sheeting

Seal Doors, Windows and Air Vents with Plastic Sheeting | Tips for Sheltering in Place
Seal Doors, Windows and Air Vents with Plastic Sheeting Photo by Home Repair Tutor

Using duct tape and plastic sheeting seal all doors, windows, outlets, vents, and other possible entry points of outside air. If plastic is not available you can use a wet towel.

20. Turn Off Cooling, Heating, and Ventilation Systems

Turn Off Cooling, Heating and Ventilation Systems | Tips for Sheltering in Place

Never forget to switch off these systems first prior to sealing doors and windows. Without doing so may bring contaminated outside air directly into your home. Don’t forget the fireplace damper as well.

21. Play the Game of Monkey See Monkey Do

Play the Game of Monkey See Monkey Do | Tips for Sheltering in Place
Play the Game of Monkey See Monkey Do Photo by Teach 123 School

This is for a typical school scenario. For a teacher, keeping the kids quiet and not worry about their parents is quite difficult. Playing this game may somehow catch their attention and keep them still, thus avoiding much more unnecessary dangers.

22. Run-Hide-Fight

Run-Hide-Fight | Tips for Sheltering in Place
Run-Hide-Fight Photo by Republic Buzz

This is for a college setting with a shooter scenario. You will have to run to the nearest room. Lock the door behind you and switch your phone to “silent or vibrate mode.” Hide under a desk or furniture. Should you be under threat of the intruder, be ready to fight with anything that you can use as a weapon.

23. Convert a Regular Wet/Dry Vacuum into an Air Filter

Convert a Regular Wet/Dry Vacuum into an Air Filter | Tips for Sheltering in Place
Convert a Regular Wet/Dry Vacuum into an Air Filter Photo by Survival Life

As long as the vacuum has a HEPA filter installed, it will clean out the air drawn from outside. The air that will exit the exhaust port and blow into the flow-room will most likely be free of airborne viruses.

24. Wear an N95 Respirator Mask

This mask supposedly protects the wearer against airborne contaminants (0.3 microns in size) by 95%. Since it is disposable, it is best that you stockpile a few boxes for you and your family. This item should also be part of your emergency survival kit.

25. Stay Off the Phone Unless it is Completely Necessary

Stay Off the Phone Unless it is Completely Necessary | Tips for Sheltering in Place

Trying to contact your loved ones can clog up the telephone lines which is critically needed by emergency personnel. Unless of course there is a fire, police, or medical emergency in your site. The school or workplace has systems for keeping your children or other family members protected in case they need to shelter in place.

26. Monitor Local TV and Radio Stations

Monitor Local TV and Radio Stations | Tips for Sheltering in Place
Monitor Local TV and Radio Stations Photo by CNN Media

Keeping updated on what is happening is important. This will enable you to make the necessary decisions that will make or break you and your family’s survival. Having a NOAA public alert radio is also important.

27. Prevent Boredom and Cabin Fever

Prevent Boredom and Cabin Fever | Tips for Sheltering in Place

Have board games, dance videos, playing cards, puzzles, and the like prepared to keep you and your family preoccupied while waiting for the clear out from authorities. You’ll never know when you might need them. It may take longer than you expect.

28. Once Given the “All Clear” Signal

Once Given the “All Clear” Signal | Tips for Sheltering in Place

Before exiting the structure, open all doors, windows, vents, and turn on the heating as well as the air conditioning system. Let the air out while waiting outside for about 15 to 30 minutes before re-entering.

29. Evacuating After the “All Clear” Signal

Evacuating After the “All Clear” Signal | Tips for Sheltering in Place

Identify the paths to the nearest exit prior to the “All Clear” signal. Stay together and exit in an orderly fashion. Never use the elevators. Once outside account for every person present and immediately report any missing person.

30. Report to the Evacuation Reception and Care Center

Report to the Evacuation Reception and Care Center | Tips for Sheltering in Place
Report to the Evacuation Reception and Care Center Photo by Cowy Red Cross Blog

Register your name even if you do not plan to stay there. Family and friends that might be looking for you can proceed to the designated center. This will make their search much easier.

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These are just a few basic tips that will help you go through the before, during, and after sheltering in place emergency procedure. There are many more methods you can find over the internet should you want to know more details. Overall, the ones aforementioned will surely be life-savers for you and those around you. It is best to be ready even before a disaster happens.

You must have known some of these shelter in place tips before coming across this article. Tell us about it in the comments section below!

Up Next: 13 Winter Survival Methods To Keep You Warm


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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22 Tips To Stay Safe In A Crowd Or Riot

22 Tips To Stay Safe In A Crowd Or Riot

It is of utmost importance to stay safe whenever you’re stuck in a huge crowd or if a riot breaks out. For instance, with the freedom of speech and expression constantly in effect, people can flood the streets anytime as a form of protest. In able to avoid injuries, here are a few tips on how to stay safe in a crowd or a riot.

22 Ways to Stay Safe in Case of Stampedes or Riot


1. Research About the Venue of the Event

This is the best preventive security measure that you should practice. Memorize the entrance and exit points, emergency evacuation protocols, parking areas and other facilities in reference to where you will be sitting.

2. Be Prepared

Why wait until you find yourself in an unlikely situation? It is best to be prepared at all times so that if it does happen you will know what to do. Always remember, prevention is better than cure.

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3. Remain CalmRemain Calm | Tips To Stay Safe In A Crowd Or Riot

For sure your adrenaline will fly right off the roof, but keeping your emotions in check, even if those around are frantic, should be your main priority. It will take tons of effort to remain composed and bring yourself to a safer place but it will surely be worth it.

4. Pay Attention to Your Intuition and Feelings

 If you happen to choose to be in such a crowd, you need to follow your intuition and feelings when it comes to the mood of the crowd.

You’ll definitely feel it when things are going to go south.

5. Move On

As fast as you can, leave the area when protesters start to become unstable. If there’s a need to sprint, do it by all means. You don’t want to get caught up with a huge crowd running at the same time with you.

6. Avoid Confrontation

While looking for a safe exit you should keep your head down.

While you’re at it, chances are you’ll get pushed or hit. Don’t retaliate and just keep on going.

7. Go with the Flow

The objective is to be able to get away from the crowd the fastest way with as little harm as possible. Even if it leads you the opposite way of where you intend to go.

8. Stick to the Edge of the Crowd

It is much safer to stay in this part of the crowd and away from the leaders or agitators. This way, you’ll have walls to cling on and with a bit of luck, you may just come across an alley you can escape to.

9. Always Carry Around a Small Amount of Cash

You’ll never know when you might need it.

Purchase a basic need for survival, arranging for a quick transportation, and paying off looters are the basic examples of when cash might come in handy.

10. Always Have Your Gear on You

Always Have Your Gear on You | Tips To Stay Safe In A Crowd Or Riot

If you really need to leave your house, it’s better to leave packed with a gun, a knife or a tactical pen. If you’re the type who can’t pull the trigger though, a pepper spray may be just for you.

11. Prepare for an Attack

Crowd behavior in a riot is extremely complex. Pulling out a gun or a knife should always be your last resort. However, if it’s a matter of survival, it is vital that you use it to your advantage by creating space as a means to escape. If you fail to do so at exactly the right moment, the results could be fatal.

12. Avoid Bottleneck Areas

These areas where a lot of people will try to squeeze through a small opening. Once chaos strikes it will be a death trap for those caught in it.

13. Avoid Law Enforcement

The common riot police do not know if you’re one of the violent ones. Nor do they care. The farther you are from them, the better it is for you from taking the full impact of their response.

14. Get Upwind or Escape to Higher Ground

Worst case scenario, the riot police throws in tear gas. If this does happen going uphill or a building rooftop is advised since tear gas stays low to the ground.

15. Watch Your Step

With the sea of people around you, it could be easy to trip and fall. You could be trampled amidst the chaos of a stampede or a riot and suffer from fatal injuries. This is something that you would not want to happen.

16. Keep your Loved Ones Close

Your first priority is to stick together. Lock elbows or grip your hands together while moving towards a safe location.

17. Arrange a Meeting Place

Arrange a Meeting Place | Tips To Stay Safe In A Crowd Or Riot

No matter how hard you try to hold on to each other in a heavy crowd, the chances of getting separated are high. That’s why you should agree on a meeting place beforehand.

18. Avoid Heavily Congested Areas

If you happen to break away from a crowd, chances are you might come across other groups of rioters.

19. Detering Pickpockets

Bring only what you need.Women should have their purse run along the front of their bodies with one hand on it. Men should have wallets or cell phones in their front pockets.

20. Blend In

Make sure that you don’t stand out in the crowd. Otherwise, you might as well paint a bulls-eye sign on your back. One way to do that is to wear muted colors.

21. Don’t run from the Crowd

Just act like them until you find an opportunity to slowly break away once you get to the outer-most part of the mob.

22. Seek Shelter

Securing oneself in a self-contained building, or one with a basement can be a good move to steer clear of the full force of a riot.

Always remember that a crowd of protesters can kickoff in a peaceful manner.However, the longer it continues it will definitely attract a variety of participants.  As the numbers continue to rise, emotions will run high. Thus, the greater the chances of a full-scale riot.


Watch this video by DrBones NurseAmy to get more tips on how to stay safe during protest or riot:

If you happen to be caught in the middle of a civil unrest or a sea of people in an event, make sure that you apply these tips for staying safe in a crowd or riot. Chances are, you and your loved ones may get out of it. Maybe not unscathed, but alive and breathing.

Have you been stuck in this predicament before? Share your experience in the comments below!

Up Next: 26 Badass Camping Hacks For Your Next Trip

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2018 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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Couples Defense: What You Can Do With Your Partner To Stay Safe

Couples Defense: What You Can Do With Your Partner To Stay Safe

Want to be the BEST prepared
for the WORST to come? Click here to sign up NOW! We'll even throw in a FREE survival tool! (just pay s&h)

Want to be the BEST prepared
for the WORST to come? Click here to sign up NOW! We'll even throw in a FREE survival tool! (just pay s&h)

Forget the chocolate and flowers! What better way to say I love you this Valentine’s Day than to commit to staying safe with your partner.  This Valentine’s Day, we celebrate couples defense as a vital skill everyone should learn.

The world is constantly changing, and in the United States alone there were 3 million preppers in 2013. There isn’t exactly a checkbox to register as a prepper, but the prepping, survivalist and homesteading lifestyles have been on the rise. A decade ago prepping and the survivalist mindset was seen as dramatic and drastic, but in 2018 it’s a common topic. Between the possible threat from other countries, and the equally frightening threat of natural disasters being a prepper makes more and more sense. Even blizzards on the east coast have names now because of their ferocity, being prepared with survival skills to handle natural disasters, or more, is essential, but what can you do to stay safe with a partner?

Planning is part of couples defense

Planning is important when you’re prepping with a partner. Survival is based on strategy and having a solid plan. If you’re together when a situation inevitably happens what’s your plan? Are you staying in place? Moving? What is your game plan if you’re separated when everything goes down? If you’re both at work where are you meeting? Do you both have survival kits in your car just in case? Being prepared and having a solid plan can be the difference between life and death. Make a plan together, ensures both parties know what their side of the plan entails. Together you should figure out if you want to stay at your home or if you want to bug out, plan for both. Agree on a location to meet up again just in case you’re separated when something terrible happens.

Learn how to defend each other

Does your partner know how to defend themselves? Are they skilled at knife throwing or an expert marksman? To defend each other, without one being a burden to the other, you both need to know how to defend each other, and you need to play off each other’s strengths. You can also play off of each other’s strengths when it comes to regular duties, such as purifying water or hunting. Both of you should know hand to hand and long distance techniques to ensure you can keep each other safe in multiple scenarios. Learning a fighting style, or learning how to shoot with your partner, are both tactics that can help you stay safe while also giving you someone with whom you can train. Most importantly though, you need to be sure your partner is on board with the defense plan.

Get in shape and stay in shape

You don’t want to be the person who knows karate but can’t execute the proper moves because you are out of shape. You need to stay in shape while keeping on top of your self-defense game. Make sure you’re in top shape, cardio is essential, in case you need to get out of a dangerous situation fast. Eat right and work out regularly. Being prepared doesn’t mean getting ready and then being sedentary, it means getting ready, and then staying ready. A regular workout regimen, which you can do together, keeps you in shape while giving you a partner to hold you accountable.

Couples defense requires you to be prepared for anything

If something happens, either a natural disaster or something more sinister, you need to be ready. A bug out bag is what a lot of enthusiasts put together and regularly maintain. They have limited supplies of food, water, a way to purify water, medical necessities, along with anything else you may need. The most significant mistake when getting a bug out, or go bag, together is over packing. You’ll need to pack light, remember to play off each other’s strengths. For example, if one of you is faster and stronger, they should carry the heavier objects. You need to stay together and work together. Travel light, only with necessities, such as food, water, a water purifier, a change of socks, feminine hygiene items if one of you is female and perhaps collapsible cookware. As little as possible is what you’re aiming for. Plan out your bug out bags ahead of time, and keep your bags up to date. 

You can also start stockpiling resources such as medical supplies, canned goods, and dehydrated foods. Take a look at emergency response lists; they may have different objects you might be forgetting about. Preparing for survival at home isn’t difficult, you can compile resources regularly, but you should always be prepared to bug out, just in case your home is compromised.

Know basic first aid

If neither of you is a doctor or nurse, learning basic first aid skills together is essential. In a survival situation, a small cut from the wrong piece of wood or metal can make you sicker than any sneeze. Tetanus alone can kill if you’re not up to date on your shots, and you need to be prepared with any medicines either of you may require regularly. Always be sure you’re up to date on your shots, and learn basic first aid together such as how to clean and stitch wounds and stop bleeding. It’d also be wise to stock up on antibiotics and pain relievers or painkillers if you can, you’ll never know when they’ll be helpful. Hopefully, you’ll never need to use the knowledge, but if you need it, then you’ll have it.

Learn the basics together

Worst case scenario your home has been ransacked, and all your gear and materials have been compromised if not stolen. Do you know how to survive without all of your things? Knowing how to find food, purify water, and handle defenses without having all your gear can be the difference between life and death. Always prepare for the worst-case scenario. If you lose or break your water purifier, do you know how to make one? Do you know what part of an animal to eat, and what parts you shouldn’t eat? Do you know how to hunt, kill, skin and prepare that animal? How about how to build an adequate shelter? Knowledge is power, and being ready for the worst case scenario is the best for your survival. Learn the basics together, if you forget how to purify water than your significant other will likely remember.

How will pets fit into your couples defense plan?

If you have pets how do they fit into your plan? Will you abandon them, or take them with you? Taking them with you is hopefully what you’ll choose, and if you do, you’ll need to prep for them too. How are you keeping them safe? Whose job is it to watch them? Are they cats or dogs? What are they eating or drinking? Dogs in a disaster situation are more useful than cats; they help deter people from approaching you keeping you safer. Cats are less helpful, but you should still bring them with you if you can. Plan together about how you’ll handle the pet situation if a disaster strikes.

Use couples defense tactics to prepare for the worst

When you’re planning to survive you need to prepare for the worst. Plan, to either bug out to a secondary location, or stay in your home. Are you bringing your pets or not? Are you physically ready to defend yourself and your things? Do you have all your bug out bags ready and necessary medicine tucked away? There is no such thing as being too prepared when it comes to survival. Preparing for survival alone is a full-time job, but preparing to defend each other with your partner ensures you can focus on your strengths. You can hold each other accountable for different aspects of prepping, and ensure that you’re ready, no matter when disaster strikes.

This Valentines Day promise your loved one that you will work with him/her to prepare a couples defense strategy that will protect you both!

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