Taking shelter, also called confinement, means isolating yourself inside a building. When required, your municipality may ask you to stay inside your home, your place of work or a public building for your safety. Taking shelter may be necessary when hazardous materials are present in the environment.


Close the doors and windows.

Keep your emergency kit nearby.

Follow your municipality and Urgence Québec social media feeds and consult local media outlets for information about the current situation and steps to be taken.

If the authorities inform you that hazardous materials are present in the environment of your sector:

  • Turn off the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, as well as the air exchanger.
  • Seal air outlets and inlets using damp towels, plastic film and masking tape or adhesive tape.
  • Move away from windows (the middle of the house and the basement provide the best protection).
  • Remain sheltered for as long as required by the authorities, as certain contaminants are invisible and odourless.

Do not pick up your children from school or the daycare centre; they are sheltered and safe where they are.

Keep in touch with loved ones, preferably by text messaging, email and social media so as to leave the telephone system free for urgent calls and calls from emergency workers.


Enter your home immediately or take shelter in the closest building.

Bring your pets indoors, without endangering your safety however.

If you are in a public place, do not try to return home. Follow the safety advice provided by onsite personnel or the authorities.

In your car

Do not take shelter in your car if a safe shelter such as a building is nearby. Use your car only to quickly move away from the danger source.

If you have no other choice than to take shelter in your car, close the windows and turn off the air vents.

Listen to the radio for instructions from the authorities.

Last update: February 23, 2023


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