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How to shelter-in-place

When conditions in the air might be dangerous, FEMA has steps you need to take to keep your family safe.
Credit: KHOU

HOUSTON — A shelter-in-place has been issued for areas around the ITC Deer Park facility because of elevated levels of benzene in the air caused by the chemical fire.

When emergency management officials order a shelter-in-place due to hazardous materials possible in the air, these are steps you should take to seal off a safe space, according to FEMA.gov.

  •  Bring your family and pets inside.
  • Lock doors, close windows, air vents and fireplace dampers.
  • Turn off fans, air conditioning and forced air heating systems.
  • Take your emergency supply kit unless you have reason to believe it has been contaminated.
  • Go into an interior room with few windows, if possible.
  • Seal all windows, doors and air vents with 2-4 mil. thick plastic sheeting and duct tape. Consider measuring and cutting the sheeting in advance to save time.
  • Cut the plastic sheeting several inches wider than the openings and label each sheet.
  • Duct tape plastic at corners first and then tape down all edges.
  • Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to seal gaps so that you create a barrier between yourself and any contamination.

Also, make sure to follow the local emergency management agencies on social media. And here at KHOU, we'll keep you updated online, as well as on our Twitter and Facebook accounts.