Sheltering in Place

When to Stay Put

To shelter in place means using a structure and its indoor atmosphere to temporarily separate you from a hazardous outdoor atmosphere.

It entails closing all doors, windows and vents and taking shelter in a readily accessible location.

When to Consider

  • Severe weather conditions.
  • Riot or civil disturbance.
  • Road, traffic and/or transportation shutdown.
  • Special events and demonstrations.
  • Influenza pandemic or other infectious disease.
  • Hazardous materials or conditions outdoors.

Guidelines for Sheltering

Upon receiving a message to shelter in place, remain calm and begin assessing your surroundings. Action steps must be quick and immediate:

  • Stop what you are doing right away, i.e., classes, work, business operations.
  • Stop where you are and look for the best accessible space for sheltering. Do not risk exposure by moving to another building, whether by foot or vehicle.
  • Select interior room(s) with the fewest windows and vents. If the emergency is weather-related, choose a location on the lowest floor possible. The room(s) should have adequate seating space for all occupants. Avoid overcrowding by selecting several rooms, if necessary. Large storage closets, utility rooms and copy and conference rooms without exterior windows work well.
  • Avoid selecting a room with mechanical equipment like ventilation blowers or pipes. It is ideal to have a landline telephone in the room(s) you select.
  • Close and lock all windows, exterior doors and any other openings to the outside, where possible. If advised there is danger of an explosion, close the window shades, blinds and/or curtains.
  • Have the phone available if you need to report a life-threatening condition. Be mindful that cellular telephone equipment may be overwhelmed or damaged during an emergency.
  • Bring everyone into the room(s). Shut and lock the door(s). Be alert for Rave Alert updates until you are told allis safe or you are instructed to evacuate. These updates may call for evacuation of specific areas.


On campus
Ext. 5911 (or use RAVE Guardian for instant,
silent text communication)

Off campus