In certain emergency situations, the campus community may be advised to shelter-in-place to avoid or minimize exposure to outside risks. Risks could include chemical, biological or radioactive releases; some weather-related emergencies or criminal activities.
Once shelter-in-place instructions have been communicated, students, faculty and staff should either stay in the building they are in when they get the message or if outside, go to the nearest building and await further instructions.
What Shelter-in-Place Means
Shelter-in-Place is a precaution aimed to keep you safe while remaining indoors. It refers to taking refuge in a designated area of safety within a building such as a small, interior room with no or few windows. It does not mean sealing off your entire residence or office building. If you are told to shelter-in-place, follow the instructions provided below.
Why You Might Need to Shelter-in-Place
The air outside may become dangerously contaminated either intentionally or accidentally; severe weather such as a thunderstorm or a tornado is occurring; or there is an active shooter, making it unsafe to be exposed to outside conditions. Should this occur, campus police will provide information using the E2Campus/LENS system. This system includes emergency warning sirens, programmed messages, live voice instructions, text messaging, and email communication to provide emergency notification and/or instructions. The important thing is for you to follow instructions of University authorities and know what to do if they advise you to shelter-in-place.
General Shelter in Place Information
If a shelter in place order is given, you should:
- Stop classes or work, or close business operations.
- Share the notification with others in the building if possible, but do not leave the area where you were instructed to shelter-in-place.
- Close all windows, exterior doors, and any other openings to the outside.
- Select interior room(s) above the ground floor with the fewest windows or vents.
- Under certain circumstances (criminal activity) it may be necessary to lock the door to the area where you are located
- Keep listening to local radio, television, and check your cell phone for E2Campus messages and alerts until you are told it is safe or you are told to evacuate. University and local officials may call for an evacuation in specific areas only.
University and local officials are the best source of information for your particular situation. Following their instructions during and after emergencies regarding sheltering, food, water, and clean-up methods is your safest choice.