William Walker, MD
Contra Costa Health Services
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See our Shelter in Place information and links.
The possibility of disaster is very real in Contra Costa County. An accident at a refinery or chemical plant, or a collision involving a truck or train carrying chemicals, could release dangerous toxins into our air.
The potential of hazardous materials accidents makes it important for residents to know how to shelter-in-place.
I'm Dr. William Walker, Director of Contra Costa Health Services, here to talk about how you should respond to shelter-in-place alerts, such as our safety sirens.
The safety sirens are part of our
county's community warning system.
When I hear the siren or am instructed to shelter in place, I follow three simple steps to ensure my safety:
Shelter, Shut and Listen.
First, find shelter.
Whether you are at home, work or the market, go inside the nearest building.
If your children are at school,
do not leave to get them.
You could expose yourself to
hazardous chemicals by going outside.
Schools have plans to protect your
children during such events.
If you are home,
bring your pets inside if possible.
Second, shut and lock all
windows and doors.
Locks create a tighter seal.
Also, turn off any heating or
cooling fans that use outside air.
If you have a fireplace, close the damper to prevent air from entering your home through the chimney.
Once you are safely secured, turn on
your radio and television and
listen for further instructions.
The county's Community Warning System sends updates directly to the media.
Public-access stations, such as
KCBS 740 AM and KGO 810 AM will
have ongoing status reports.
We also post information on our website.
If you have Internet access,
you can check for updates at cchealth.org
Unless you have a life-threatening emergency, it is best to not use your telephone.
This way, lines will be left open for emergency communications.
Remain indoors until you hear the
All Clear message.
This message will be broadcast by the
media and to telephones in the
Once the All Clear is given, it is safe to
Also open windows to
air out your building.
These simple steps of Shelter, Shut and Listen will decrease your chances of exposure to toxic chemicals and will help protect you and your loved ones.
To find out more about what to
do in an emergency,
visit our website at cchealth.org
Thanks for listening.