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2023-05-01 Sheltering

CIVIC Ready. Be sure to stay safe and informed by receiving notifications and alerts from the 
Village of Chatham. Formerly eLerts, our new system allows you to better manage which alerts and 
notifications you receive. You can customize what notifications you receive through email, text, or 
phone call. We have a variety of groups you can join to get notifications about emergencies, 
advisories, and other events. You can get started at this link: 
Shelter Sheltering is appropriate when conditions require that you seek protection in your home, 
where you work or other location when other emergencies arise. The length of time you are required 
to take shelter may be short, such as during a tornado warning, or during a pandemic. In all cases, 
it is important that you stay informed and follow the instructions of local authorities. During 
extended periods of sheltering you will need to manage water and food supplies to make sure you and 
your family have what you need to get by.
Plan ahead. Designate a safe space in your home, apartment, and/or work place to shelter during 
severe weather or an emergency event. Ideally, the basement is your best choice. If you do not have 
a basement, select an interior room on the main floor of your home and/or office building, away 
from exterior windows and other harmful materials. It is important to identify, plan, and 
communicate your designated safe place to family members and/or co-workers.
Choosing to take shelter is necessary in many emergencies. This can mean: Stay-At-Home, Going to a 
Mass Care Shelter, or Sheltering in Place. Here’s the distinction:
Mass Care Shelter Mass care shelters provide life sustaining services to disaster survivors. Even 
though mass care shelters often provide water, food, medicine and basic sanitary facilities, you 
should plan to take your emergency supply kit with you so you will have the supplies you need. Mass 
care sheltering can involve living with many people in a confined space, which can be difficult and 
•  Be prepared to take cleaning items with you like, soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes or 
general household cleaning supplies to disinfect surfaces.
•  All shelters accept service animals, but many public shelters and hotels do not allow pets 
inside. Know a safe place where you can take your pets before disasters and emergencies happen.
Search for open shelters by texting SHELTER and your ZIP code to 43362. Example: Shelter 01234 
(standard rates apply). Learn more by visiting:
Sheltering in Place Whether you are at home, work or anywhere else you frequent regularly, there 
may be situations when it's best to stay where you are and avoid any uncertainty outside. Use 
common sense and available information to assess the situation and determine if there is immediate 
danger. If you see large amounts of debris in the air, or if local authorities say the air is badly 
contaminated you may want to take this kind of action. Here are some tips for sheltering in place:
•  Local authorities may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and 
what you should do. Pay attention to local media outlets for official news and instructions as they 
become available.
•  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.
•  Go into an interior room with few windows if possible. Take your emergency supply kit unless you 
have reason to believe it has been contaminated.
•  Seal all windows, doors and air vents with 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.
“Sealing a room” is considered a temporary protective measure to create a barrier between you and 
potentially contaminated air outside. This type of sheltering in place requires pre-planning, by 
purchasing plastic sheeting and duct tape that you would keep in your emergency supply kit.
Stay-at-Home Remain indoors as much as possible and try to only leave your home when necessary. You 
can still use outdoor spaces such as patios, porches and yards. Outdoor activities such as walking, 
jogging and exercise are fine if you practice social distancing. Essential services such as grocery 
shopping, the gas station, pharmacies and going to the Post Office are still fine to do. Limit 
visitors if possible. Try to use video chatting. Call the people you would normally text.
* Learn more by visiting