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  • Shelter-in-Place

Public Safety

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  • Shelter-in-Place

    What Shelter-in-Place Means

    One of the instructions you may be given in an emergency where hazardous materials may have been released into the atmosphere is to shelter-in-place. This is a precaution aimed to keep you safe while remaining indoors. (This is not the same thing as going to a shelter in case of a storm.) Shelter-in-place means selecting a small, interior room if possible, with no or few windows, and taking refuge there. It does not mean sealing off your entire building. If you are told to shelter-in-place, follow the instructions provided.

    Why You Might Need to Shelter-in-Place

    Chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants may be released accidentally or intentionally into the environment. Should this occur, information will be provided by University authorities on television, radio stations, and through Emergency Notification Systems.

    How to Shelter-in-Place

    • Stop classes or work, or close business operations.
    • If there are students or visitors in the building, provide for their safety by asking them to stay--not leave. When authorities provide directions to shelter-in-place, they want everyone to take those steps now, where they are, and not drive or walk outdoors.
    • Unless there is an imminent threat, ask students, staff, and visitors to call their emergency contact to let them know where they are and that they are safe.
    • Close and lock all windows, exterior doors, and any other openings to the outside.
    • If you are told there is danger of explosion, close the window shades, blinds, or curtains.
    • Select interior room(s) above the ground floor, with the fewest windows or vents. The room(s) should have adequate space for everyone to be able to sit somewhere. Avoid overcrowding by selecting several rooms if necessary.
    • It is ideal to have a hard-wired telephone in the room(s) you select. Call emergency contacts and have the phone available if you need to report a life-threatening condition. Cellular telephone equipment may be overwhelmed or damaged during an emergency.
    • Bring everyone into the room(s). Shut and lock the door(s).
    • Keep listening to the radio or television until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate. University and local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk on this campus.