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Shelter-in-Place Drill

What is the Countywide Shelter in Place Drill?

Each year, the CAER Outreach Team organizes a countywide Shelter in Place Drill to ensure that children and teachers throughout the County know about the Community Warning System (CWS) and how to Shelter in Place in the event of a chemical related emergency. The School Drill is a voluntary event that allows schools and daycares across the County to rehearse how they would Shelter in Place at their site.

When is the Countywide Shelter in Place Drill?

The drill takes place on the first Wednesday in November to coincide with the testing of the CWS sirens, which takes place at approximately 11am. Although not all schools and daycares can hear the nearest CWS siren, participants are asked to start their drill at approx. 11am.

How long does the Shelter in Place Drill last?

For the drill, there will NOT be any "All Clear" or official notification that the drill is over. Each site is to determine the length of their individual drill. Typical timeframes for the drill are from 10 to 20 minutes depending on size of site. CAER encourages each site to critique the effectiveness of their drill in order to continually improve.

Who can participate?

CAER encourages every school and daycare within the County to participate to expand everyone's knowledge of what to do in an emergency.

Why does CAER promote the Shelter in Place Drill?

The drill is designed to educate all participants that the safest thing someone can initially do to protect their selves during a chemical emergency is to Shelter in Place. It is much safer to stay indoors or in your car than potentially have a chemical plume pass over you while outside. The concepts learned during the drill can be applied while on field trips, at home, at work, or on vacation.

What is a Model School Site?

Each year CAER works with one or more schools to be selected as a Model School site for that year's Shelter in Drill. A Model School site is one that CAER agrees that has sufficiently developed their Shelter in Place program to be a model for other schools. Once selected, CAER works with the sites in advance of and during the drill. During the drill, Wally Wise Guy, may visit the Kindergarten and 1st Grade rooms. Local media is directed to Model sites in order to watch the drill.

My school/daycare is not near industry, why should we participate?

Chemical incidents can happen anywhere at any time and are not limited to just near industrial facilities. Transportation incidents could involve cars, trucks, rail, or aircraft and could impact areas miles away depending on cargo, topography, and wind conditions. Structure fires could also result in undesirable breathing conditions. Children can be greatly affected by adverse air quality or exposure to hazardous chemicals.


If your site is interested in participating in this year's Shelter in Place Drill, which is on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, please send an email to with your sites name, address and contact person with phone and fax numbers. Thank you