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Shelter-In-Place Emergency Procedures


Some types of outdoor or off-campus incidents may make evacuation more dangerous than staying indoors.  Leaving the area might take too long or put you in harm’s way.  In such a case it may be safer for you to stay indoors than to go outside.

“Shelter in place” means to make a shelter out of the place you are in. Shelter in place announcements are different than “take shelter” messages that may be associated with tornado warnings.

“Shelter-in-place” announcements may be made by any combination of messages via the Outdoor Warning System, cell-phone alerts, the C.A.L.V.E.S. system, television/radio broadcasts, by telephone, or e-mail.

If you hear or read an announcement to “shelter in place”:

  • Individuals outside of buildings should enter the nearest building and proceed to a secure area and remain there until the "all clear" is sounded.  Vehicles are not an adequate shelter.

  • Individuals who are off campus should remain off campus until the “all clear” signal is given;

  • Individuals who are inside of buildings should remain in classrooms, labs, assigned offices or office areas until the “all clear” is sounded.

    • Secure interior rooms by:

      • Closing and locking windows
      • Closing and locking doors, if possible
      • In laboratories, close containers, close fume hood sashes, and turn off heating apparatus.

    • Do NOT pull the fire alarm

    • Do NOT lock exterior doors of buildings as this may prevent others from seeking shelter

  • If the “Shelter in place” directive is issued because of a hazardous material release”

    • Shut down any ventilation or exhaust systems that you can.  If remotely controlled ventilation systems are not shutting down, call Facilities Management at 745-3253 to shut down the ventilation systems.

    • You may be told to relocate within the building (e.g. move to lower or higher floors) as further information becomes available.  This information may be communicated by any combination of the C.O.W.S. outdoor warning sirens, cell-phone alerts, the C.A.L.V.E.S. system, television/radio broadcasts, by telephone, or e-mail.

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 Last Modified 11/14/18