"Shelter-in-place has found increasing acceptance as an effective protective action option for communities participating in the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program. Studies have confirmed that it can provide optimum protection under certain accident conditions. However, emergency managers and planners, as well as the public, continue to be troubled by the need to end sheltering when the plume has passed in order to avoid sustained exposure to the small amount of agent that has penetrated the shelter. One of the concerns posed by this necessity is uncertainty regarding what hazards will then be faced in the environment outside the shelter and what actions can be taken to avoid those hazards. This report attempts to address those uncertainties. It recognizes that there is an extremely low probability that the environment outside the shelter will be contaminated with chemical agent residue. However, as people comply with an official recommendation to leave their shelters, they probably can't be certain that the environment is free from contamination. Therefore, this report identifies and explains specific and simple actions they can take to avoid the possibility of exposure to chemical agent hazards outside their shelters. It addresses such issues as the actions people should take upon ending shelter-in-place, what clothing they should wear, how they should handle animals, and what they should do about food in their homes and produce in their gardens."
Oak Ridge National Laboratory: ORNL/TM-2003/230
Oak Ridge National Laboratory: http://www.emc.ornl.gov/