Jetter*, J J. AND C. Whitfield. EFFECTIVENESS OF EXPEDIENT SHELTERING IN PLACE IN A RESIDENCE. JOURNAL OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. ELSEVIER, AMSTERDAM, Holland, 119(1-3):31-40, (2005).
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of expedient sheltering in place in a residence for protection against airborne hazards, as outlined in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) guidance to the public. An improved method was developed to determine the air flow rate for a shelter inside a house. Expedient sheltering measures (plastic sheeting and duct tape) were applied to a room inside a test house by participants who followed the DHS guidance. Measured air flow rates were used to determine protection factors for various scenarios. Protection factors were calculated for the house and shelter under various occupancy times, weather conditions, and outdoor exposure times for hazardous agents. Protection factors ranged from 1.3 to 539, depending on the conditions. Results indicate that proper sealing can make a substantial difference in the effectiveness of the shelter. Sheltering in place can be most beneficial if people enter shelters before the arrival of a cloud of hazardous agent, and people exit shelters as soon as the cloud passes over. However, sheltering in place can be detrimental if people enter or exit shelters too late. CO2 and O2 concentrations inside the shelter are not likely to reach dangerous levels under most scenarios, but concentrations could reach dangerous levels under certain conditions, and concentration levels could affect individuals with respiratory problems.