Sheltering in buildings from large-scale outdoor releases

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Intentional or accidental large-scale airborne toxic release (e.g. terrorist attacks or industrial accidents) can cause severe harm to nearby communities. Under these circumstances, taking shelter in buildings can be an effective emergency response strategy. Some examples where shelter-in-place was successful at preventing injuries and casualties have been documented [1, 2]. As public education and preparedness are vital to ensure the success of an emergency response, many agencies have prepared documents advising the public on what to do during and after sheltering [3, 4, 5]. In this document, we will focus on the role buildings play in providing protection to occupants.

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