Shelter in Place

In some instances, it may be safer to “shelter in place” than it is to leave a building. Such instances include but are not limited to smoke or fire obstructing exits, live electrical wires blocking access to the exit, assailants surrounding the premises, or the emergency disabling the elevators. In some cases, authorities may direct you to shelter in place instead of evacuate. Shelter in place procedures vary depending on the type of hazard.

Fire or Smoke Preventing Evacuation:

  • If safe to do so, go to the nearest stairwell and tell someone who is evacuating to notify emergency personnel of your location and that you are unable to evacuate the building.
  • Call 860-685-3333 (or x3333 campus extension) and tell them your name, your location, that you are unable to evacuate, and why you are unable to evacuate the building. Follow directions of the emergency call taker.

Airborne Chemical Threat:

  • Ensure that all outside doors and windows are tightly closed.
  • Turn off A/C and ventilation systems if possible.
  • Keep away from all exterior openings and air ventilation systems.
  • Seek shelter in a room above ground level, as some chemicals are heavier than air and can seep below ground. If there are radioactive particles in the air, seek a centrally located room or basement.

Violent Criminal Action:

  • Barricade the doors to the best of your ability and lock all entrances.
  • Move away from doors and windows.
  • Close window shades and turn off lights.
  • If there are injured persons, or you have information about the assailant(s), call Public Safety at 860-685-3333 (or x3333 campus extension)

Severe Weather Incident:

  • Keep away from all windows and doors.
  • Keep a distance from heavier objects that may fall, as well as large glass objects.
  • If possible, direct individuals with disabilities to a safe place.

In General:

  • Avoid overcrowding by selecting several interior rooms in advance with the fewest number of windows and vents.
  • The rooms should have sufficient space for everyone to be able to sit, including space for potentially anticipated visitors.
  • Large storage closets, utility rooms, pantries, break rooms and conference rooms without exterior windows are ideal shelter locations. Additionally, access to bathrooms is preferable.
  • Try to seek rooms with hard-wired telephones. Cordless-phones may be used if necessary, but cell phones may overload the system in an emergency. 

When it is safe to exit, you will be advised by a uniformed official or receive an electronic message