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To "shelter in place" means to select an interior room – or a room with no or few windows – within your facility and take refuge there in response to an emergency situation.

Why Shelter in Place?

In the event of a chemical, biological, or radiological spill, contaminants may be released into the environment in such quantity that it is safer to remain indoors rather than to evacuate. Such releases may be either accidental or intentional. Additionally, emergency situations such as an active shooter on campus may call for shelter-in-place procedures.

Examples of situations that might result in a decision to shelter in place include:

  • An explosion in an ammonia refrigeration facility across the street
  • A derailed and leaking tank car of chlorine on the rail line behind campus
  • An active shooter on or near campus

Where to Shelter in Place

If possible, select interior room(s) above the ground floor with the fewest windows or vents. The room(s) should have adequate space for everyone to sit. Avoid overcrowding by selecting several rooms, if necessary. Large storage closets, utility rooms, pantries, and copy and conference rooms without exterior windows are a good choice. Avoid selecting a room with mechanical equipment like ventilation blowers or pipes, because this equipment may not be able to be sealed from the outdoors.

Shelter-in-Place Procedures

If shelter-in-place instructions are issued, all students and employees should:

  • Remain in place, wherever you are on campus
  • Not drive or walk outside
  • Quickly lock exterior doors and close windows and air vents
  • If possible, notify your emergency contact of your location and that you are safe
  • Turn off all fans and heating and air conditioning systems (maintenance staff)
  • Close window shades, blinds, or curtains, if there is danger of explosion
  • Gather essential disaster supplies, such as nonperishable food, bottled water, battery-powered radios, first-aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, duct tape, plastic sheeting, and plastic garbage bags
  • Await instructions from Los Rios Police or local law enforcement agencies