Shelter in place means finding a safe location indoors and staying there until you are given an “all clear” or told to evacuate. There may be situations when it’s best to stay where you are and avoid any uncertainty outside. These include but are not limited to an active shooter, tornado, or release of a hazardous material.

During Severe Weather

You may be advise to shelter-in-place. You will need to find a location that is:

  • As close to the ground as possible
  • As far inside the building as possible
  • Away from doors, windows and outside walls
  • In as small a room as possible

Shelter-in-place advisories usually don’t last long — maybe a few hours. To prepare, you should have a snack, water, and routine medication with you at all times.

When the air is contaminated

You will need to stop outside air from coming in. If officials tell you to “seal the room,” you need to:

  1. Turn off things that move air, like fans and air conditioners,
  2. Get yourself and your loved ones inside the room,
  3. Bring your emergency supplies if they are clean and easy to get to
  4. Block air from entering the room, and
  5. Listen to officials for further instructions.

Once officials say the emergency is over, turn on fans and other things that circulate air. Everyone should go outside until the building’s air has been exchanged with the now clean outdoor air.

In an active shooter situation

  1. Stay calm.
  2. Proceed to a location that can be secured, and lock or secure the door. If necessary, move something in front of the door to ensure it cannot be forced open.
  3. Turn off all lights, silence all phones, and wait for further instructions. Instruction will come via e-mail or text, so keep your silenced phone nearby.
  4. Do not open the door until instructed by responding authorities.
  5. Dial 911 if you feel that your safety is in jeopardy.
More about active shooter preparedness
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