The term Shelter-In-Place (SIP), means to seek immediate shelter and remain there during the emergency. Some emergencies require evacuation, but often, during tornadoes, exterior hazardous material releases, hostile intruder, and similar emergencies, it is safer to remain where you are, and await instructions. The most important aspect of a Shelter-In-Place (SIP) directive is to TAKE ACTION QUICKLY.
The basic concept behind Sheltering-In-Place (SIP) is to put barriers between yourself and the danger, while maintaining awareness, communications, and safety.
At SRU, an emergency Shelter-In-Place directive will be initiated through all possible communication methods, however, the most immediate and effective method of notification will be through the e-2 Campus Alert Text Messaging System.
Academic buildings will also activate the Metis Emergency Alert System. These wall-mounted units will provide immediate information and two way communications with the SRU Police.
The e-2 Campus Alert Text Messaging System and Metis Emergency Alert System, will specify the type of Shelter-In-Place (SIP) emergency that is occurring. This includes, for example, tornado warning, exterior hazardous material release, violent person in a specific location, or building, etc. Therefore, the e-2 Campus Alert Text Messaging System can prepare you to react accordingly to the specific type of emergency occurring.
Below please read examples of the types of emergencies that could occur that could cause a Shelter-In-Place to be initiated. Each example provides procedures for you to understand, therefore, you would know how to react.
SHELTER-IN-PLACE -- HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
Should an interior hazardous material release occur, the instruction would be to evacuate the building and area.
In the event of an exterior hazardous material release (including chemical, biological or radiological), either accidentally, or intentionally, a Shelter-In-Place may be initiated.
Should an exterior hazardous material Shelter-In-Place (SIP) be initiated the following procedures are recommended:
1. Move indoors and remain there.
2. Once indoors, remain in office, classroom, residence hall room, or other indoor space. The best rooms to enter are interior rooms with no windows.
3. Encourage everyone to immediately go into rooms and out of large public areas.
4. Close and lock windows, doors, and seal the room as much as possible.
5. Shut off heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) units if possible.
6. Pull down blinds, turn off lights and any other electronic equipment.
7. Monitor your e-2 Campus Alert Text Messages, but remain off the cell phone unless a life and death emergency is occurring.
8. Help others when possible, especially those who are physically disabled.
9. Remain as calm as possible and know that the emergency situation is the central focus of emergency response personnel.
10. If in a vehicle driving on campus, leave campus immediately – obeying traffic and speed regulations.
11. Remain in Shelter-In-Place (SIP) until informed via e-2 Campus Alert Text Message, Metis wall-mount system or by University officials that it is safe to leave.
SHELTER-IN-PLACE -- VIOLENT PERSON/HOSTILE INTRUDER
In the event that a person, or persons, pose a serious threat to campus a Shelter-In-Place (SIP) may be initiated. This would usually involve some form of violence, or a firearm, and necessitate immediate action. Should this SIP be initiated the following procedures are recommended:
1. Move indoors to a safe location.
2. If unable to get indoors, lie flat, get behind an obstruction, put distance between you and the danger and await police.
3. Get into a room, office, residence hall room, meeting room, etc. and lock all doors and windows.
4. Blockade the door if possible with large/heavy furniture, or other heavy objects.
5. Pull down blinds, block windows to door in an effort to obstruct vision from hallway, turn off lights.
6. Remain quiet, silence cell phones, and any other noise producing objects.
7. Stay low to the ground, on floor, near solid interior walls, staying away from windows and doors.
8. Take cover under furniture, or other large objects placing as many items as possible between you and the threat.
9. Do not peek out windows, or doors, to see what may be occurring.
10. Monitor your e-2 Campus Alert Text Messaging System.
11. Do not evacuate if fire alarm is activated unless you are positive a fire is occurring.
12. If possible, and safe to do so, report the location of the violent person if known. Do not remain on cell phone unless a life and death emergency is occurring in your immediate vicinity.
13. Help others when possible, especially the physically disabled.
14. If you are in a vehicle during a Shelter-In-Place (SIP) for violent person, leave campus immediately. Obey traffic and speed regulations.
15. Remain in the Shelter-In-Place (SIP) until informed by police, e-2 Campus Alert Text Message, Metis wall-mount system or by University officials that it is safe to leave.
16. When Police arrive do not run at them, or make sudden movements. Do not hold anything in your hand that could be mistaken for a weapon.
SHELTER-IN-PLACE -- WEATHER EMERGENCY
Severe weather could suddenly develop which would initiate a Shelter-In-Place (SIP). The most likely scenario would be a tornado warning, or citing, close to campus. Should this occur, the following procedures are recommended.
1. If outside seek shelter in the closest large building, go to the east or north walls.
2. Do Not seek shelter in any large, free span room such as a gym, auditorium.
3. Move to the lowest floor in the building, the basement is the best option if available.
4. The best room choice is an interior room with no windows, or a small windowless first floor interior room like a closet, or bathroom.
5. If windows are in the room, close and lock windows and doors, pull down blinds.
6. Center yourself under large furniture, or other objects, and protect yourself from flying glass, or debris.
7. Remain as close to the floor as possible, stay out of corners and away from outside walls.
8. Turn off lights if possible
9. Remain in Shelter-In-Place (SIP) until informed via e-2 Campus Alert Text Message, or Metis Wall Mount System, or by University officials that it is safe to leave.
10. Remain off the cell phone, especially after a tornado strike.
11. If anyone is seriously injured, contact University Police at 724-738-3333 and request assistance. If injuries are minor, seek assistance at the SRU Health Services, in Rhoads Hall.
Quick Guide to Sheltering-In-Place (PDF)
FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR TO SCHEDULE A TRAINING FOR YOUR DEPARTMENT CALL 724-738-2728.