Sheltering in place means to remain indoors or to seek immediate shelter indoors and remain there during an emergency.  Sheltering in place includes closing exterior doors and windows, drawing shades, turning off HVAC systems and possibly moving to a more protected interior area of a building depending on the nature of the emergency, and then remaining there until the “all clear” confirmation has been given. Emergencies such a hazardous material release or a severe weather occurrence will trigger a shelter-in place command.

Basic Guidelines

  • Assume if an incident occurs on campus that you should shelter in place, or remain inside, unless the building is unsafe or you are directed to do otherwise. Be aware: Notification to shelter in place can come from the College Department of Public Safety, Student Life, or local authorities such as the Easton Police or fire departments.
  • You should not try to shelter in a vehicle unless you have no other choice. Vehicles are not airtight enough to give you adequate protection from chemicals.
  • Notification may also be transmitted over the radio, television, campus public address system, Public Safety vehicles, or Omnilert (a free service that will send alerts to your mobile device).
  • Prepare: Although it is unlikely that you will ever need to shelter in place, it is helpful to prepare. A few simple items stored in the place you spend most of your time can make sheltering easier and more comfortable. The items include extra prescription medicine, first aid supplies, nonperishable food and bottled water, a flashlight, a battery-operated radio, extra batteries, and a telephone.

How to Shelter in Place

  • If you are inside, stay where you are. Collect any shelter in place supplies and a telephone to be used in case of an emergency.
  • If your building is damaged, follow the evacuation procedures for your building.
  • If you are outside, proceed into the closest building quickly or follow the instructions from emergency personnel on the scene.
  • Shelter in place in an interior room, above ground level, and with the fewest windows. If there is a large group of people inside a particular building, several rooms may be necessary.
  • Shut and lock all windows (locking will form a tighter seal) and close exterior doors.
  • Turn off air conditioners, heaters and fans. Close vents to the ventilation system. College Facilities Operations will turn off the ventilation system to the buildings as appropriate.
  • Assign someone to make a list of all the people with you. Contact Resident Life so they know where you are sheltering. If only students are present, one of the students should call in the list.
  • Turn on a radio or television and listen for further instructions. Check your registered mobile device for Leopard Alert updates.
  • Make yourself comfortable.
  • Look after each other. You will get word when it is safe to come out.