Shelter in Place

Shelter in place (or place of refuge) refers to a designated area of safety when it is not safe to go outside, such as an interior room with no or few windows, and taking refuge in that location. If you are told to shelter in place, follow the instructions provided. Different situations require different locations.

You may be required to shelter in place for events such as a Civil Disturbance (for example, an active shooter incident), Tornado Warning, Hazardous Materials release and as directed by police personnel. When notified, you should seek immediate shelter inside a building or residence hall. If you are “sheltering” due to a hazardous materials (HAZMAT) accidental release of toxic chemicals, the air quality may be threatened and sheltering in place keeps you inside an area offering more protection.

You must immediately seek shelter in the nearest facility or building (preferably in a room with no windows) when:

  1. When directed by Purdue Calumet ALERT emergency warning notification layers.
  2. When directed by police or fire department personnel.

Try and obtain additional clarifying information by all possible means (e.g. Purdue Calumet Homepage, TV, radio, email, etc.)

  1. It would be useful to have a cell phone, hard-wired telephone, or computer system in the shelter location to assist in obtaining additional information as well as being able to report any life-threatening conditions.

How to Shelter in Place – Building

  • Close and lock all doors and windows and other opening to the outside.
  • Shut off the buildings ventilation system.
  • Building deputies post signs on doors – “Shelter in Place in Effect – NO ENTRY.”
  • If possible, move to interior room(s) above ground floor level with fewest windows and vents.
  • If possible, use plastic sheeting and duct tape to seal all cracks around doors and any vents in the room.
  • DO NOT LEAVE or open the building until an All Clear is given by the Purdue Calumet ALERT Public Address System.

How to Shelter in Place – Vehicle

  • If you are close to home or public building, go there immediately and go inside.
  • If you are unable to, pull over to the side of the road. Stop your vehicle in the safest place possible.
  • Turn off engine and close windows and vents.
  • If possible, seal the heating/AC vents with duct tape.
  • Listen to the radio regularly for updated advice and instructions.
  • Stay where you are until you are told it is safe to get back on the road.