Shelter in Place simply means seeking immediate shelter inside a building, preferably in an interior room with as few windows as possible. This action may be called for during a brush fire, a release of harmful materials into the air, an active threat in the vicinity, etc. If the outside air quality is threatened or compromised, sheltering in place keeps you inside an area offering more protection.

Although rarely called for, Shelter in Place events can occur. When they do happen, these events are generally short lived, only a few hours at most. Understand a Shelter in Place order is not given lightly. A spirit of ready cooperation will make the incident go as smoothly as possible. Earthquake kits of food, water and other supplies can be used during Shelter in Place events.

How to shelter in place:

  • Stop instruction or work
  • If there are others in the building, provide for their safety by asking them to stay – not leave
  • Unless there is an imminent threat, ask students, staff, customers, clients, and visitors to call their emergency contact to let them know where they are and that they are safe
  • Gather essential disaster supplies, 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 be able to sit in it. Avoid overcrowding by selecting several rooms if necessary.
  • Bring everyone into the room(s)
  • If you are told there is a danger of explosion, close the window shades, blinds, or curtains
  • Close doors leading into the suite/floor. This will help prevent someone from leaving the suite/floor, if necessary; the closing of doors also helps to provide additional safety in Shelter in Place situations.
  • Understand that it may become necessary for university personnel to shut down the air handling system to prevent fumes or smoke from entering the building
  • Remain indoors for your safety and the safety of others
  • Turn on registered cell phones** to receive AlertSU messages (in silent mode, if related to an active threat)
  • Keep listening to the radio or the television until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate. University officials may call for evacuation in specific areas at greatest risk.

**The university emergency alert system, AlertSU, will be used to notify you of critical life safety issues on campus. Go to https://stanfordyou.stanford.edu (staff/faculty) or https://axess.stanford.edu/ (students) and make sure your personal contact information is registered with AlertSU.