On March 28, 2016, the entire Capitol Complex and White House in Washington were put on lock down after there were shots fired by a gunman. According to reports
, nobody was killed and the gunman was taken into custody.
Those already inside buildings were told to shelter in place – nobody was to enter or exit buildings. Those outside were directed to Replace cover.
We sometimes think we’ll only need enough water, food, and gear to shelter in place during freak snow storms, hurricanes, or other natural disasters. This scenario shows that people can be a cause for us to hunker down inside as well. While perhaps not as probably to happen as a natural disaster forcing you inside, it’s still something to think about.
Civil unrest can explode into riots in no time. Most recently
we’ve seen unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland, which led to rioting, looting, and violence. During times like these, the last place you want to be is out on the streets.
Generally speaking, the need to shelter in place is generally for taking immediate refuge
in a building or room because of hazardous materials in the atmosphere, severe weather, or anything else that would cause danger if you were to wander outside, including riots and civil unrest.
Preparing to shelter in place is largely related to preparing for anything else. For example, if you have a two-week supply of drinking water just in case a hurricane roars through and contaminates your municipal supply of water, then you’re also ready with two-weeks of water if you should be trapped in your home for that long.
Of course, two weeks is a long time to be trapped inside for any reason, and chances are it won’t be nearly that long at all. But the fact remains, it you’re prepared for disaster, you’re prepared to shelter in place.
However, there are some extra precautions to take when sheltering in place. According to the CDC
, it could also mean to seal the room, or prevent air from coming in. If you’re sheltering at home, make sure you choose a room in advance in which to take shelter. The CDC recommends a large room with as few windows and doors as possible. A room connected to a water supply is preferable, such as the master bedroom. This, of course, is if there are harmful contaminants in the air.
Sheltering in place during civil unrest is different. These events can last for many days. For example, the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri went on for over two weeks. While you may not be trapped inside for the entire duration, there’s always the possibility that you could be.
So, as was mentioned earlier, the preparations you make prior to these types of events will come in very handy should the need to shelter in place arise. Food, water, a 72-hour kit, alternate power sources, and any other gear you have can only help you if you’re stuck inside.
And if you can’t leave, then you may also want to have some entertainment on hand, such as books and board games. Your television will probably work, but there’s no telling if your power could get cut during riots or snowstorms or whatever it may be.
Prepare now for the unexpected, because it’s usually the things we’re not looking for that can cause the biggest distress in our lives.