You are here

Shelter-in-Place Guidelines

What is Shelter-in-Place?

Shelter-in-place is a proactive action taken inside a building to protect internal occupants from external hazards. This action is intended to provide safety in circumstances when evacuation would present a greater risk to individuals than remaining in their current location. Although the reason for a shelter-in-place order may not be immediately communicated, circumstances that may warrant a shelter-in-place response may include:

  • Severe weather
  • HAZMAT incident
  • Active shooter or other violent criminal behavior in the area
  • Any situation where it is best for you to stay where you are to avoid an outside threat

What do I do if a shelter-in-place order is given?

When a shelter in place order is given it will depend on the threat or hazard as to what specific steps should be taken, however the following guidelines should be followed:

  • If outside, take shelter in the nearest campus building. During a flash flood move to the upper floors.
  • Find an interior room with the fewest windows.
  • Shut and lock all windows (this provides a tighter seal) and close exterior doors.
  • For some threats, it is not wise to turn on any noise source audible from the outside. Remain quiet unless instructed that it is safe to turn on such devices. 
  • If instructed, for weather-related events, or for HAZMAT incidents turn on a radio or television and listen for further instructions.
  • Remain alert for instructions and updates as they become available from emergency personnel and university administrators.
  • Remain calm and look after each other. You will be notified when it is safe to come out. Do not leave until you are sure that the identity or source of the announcement is a public safety or university official.

What if I am in class?

Faculty members and students should remain in place until directed to relocate by public safety officials.

What if I am off campus?

If you are off campus when a shelter-in-place order is ordered, remain where you are, seek shelter, and then follow city or local jurisdiction directives. Do not attempt to return to campus.