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Public Safety

FAU Emergency Management Logo Sheltering in Place


What conditions may warrant sheltering in place?

A hazardous material release, a dangerous person/hostile intruder in the area, severe weather that makes travel or being outdoors dangerous, when there is not enough time to safely evacuate.

What should I know about sheltering in place?

•    Put barriers between yourself and the danger, while still maintaining safety and communications.
•    Find an interior room with as few windows and doors as possible, preferably with a TV, phone, and an adjacent bathroom.

What should I do to safely shelter in place?

•    In general and indoors or outdoors with easy access to a building:

  o    Go inside as quickly as possible (and if there are visitors in the area, provide for their safety by asking them to stay) or
  o    Proceed to interior room, if already indoors.
  o    Close all doors and windows.
  o    Lock all windows and close blinds and shades if there is time.
  o    Lock doors if advised to do so.
  o    Do not use gas stoves, candles, or other fire sources due to the dangers of carbon monoxide and creating a fire hazard.
  o    Use the phone only for emergencies.

•    In general and outdoors without easy access to a building/vehicle:

  o    Hide in a secure area. Once in place try and remain calm. Stay hidden until you can make contact with emergency personnel.
  o    Run if you think you can safely make it out of the area. Stay low and do not run in a straight line. Attempt to keep objects (trees, vehicles, trash cans, etc.) between you and source of the event.
  o    Summon help and warn others when away from immediate area of danger.

•    If the emergency is a hazardous material spill or gas release outside of the building:

  o    Bring an emergency/first aid kit into the room.
  o    Turn off air conditioners, furnaces, and fans, if possible.
  o    Seal all windows, doors and air vents with plastic sheeting and duct tape, if possible or
  o    Improvise and use what you have on hand to seal gaps so that you create a barrier between yourself and any contamination.
  o    Turn on a TV or radio so you can hear emergency messages.
If you have symptoms of exposure, call 911 and follow their instructions. Stay in the room until told by authorities it is safe to leave.

Identifying the appropriate sheltering in place area is dependent on the emergency.


Click on the images below to see full size images.

Shelter in Place Hostile Intruder      Shelter in Place Tornado
 Last Modified 11/3/14