Sheltering Procedures

Sheltering procedures for different emergencies

Conditions like contaminated outdoor air, severe weather conditions like a thunderstorm or tornado, or an active shooter in the vicinity, can make it unsafe to be exposed to outside conditions.

Should this occur, information will be provided by university authorities through IU Notify. Please remember to follow instructions of university authorities and know what to do if they advise you to shelter-in-place.

In any emergency, local authorities may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should monitor television or radio news reports for information and official instructions as they become available.

If you’re specifically told to evacuate or seek medical treatment, do so immediately.

Campus-specific information will be broadcast over radio stations (see below) and the Emergency Alert Radios. Refer to the section on IU Notify Emergency Notification System for further information.

  • Stop classes or work, or close business operations.
  • If possible, share the notification with others in the building but do not leave the area where you were instructed to shelter-in-place.
  • Close all windows, exterior doors, and any other openings to the outside.
  • If you are told that a danger of explosion is possible, close the window shades, blinds, or curtains.
  • 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. Avoid overcrowding by selecting several rooms if necessary.
  • It is ideal to have a hard-wired telephone in the room(s) you select. Keep the phone available if you need to report a life-threatening condition.
  • Bring everyone into the room(s) and shut door(s).
  • Continue to listen to news on the radio or television until you receive indications you are safe to evacuate. Note that university and local officials may call for evacuation in specific areas.

Follow instructions on the active shooter page.

  • Stop classes, work, and business operations.
  • If possible, share the notification with others in the building but do not leave the area in which you are sheltering-in-place.
  • Close all windows, exterior doors, and any other openings to the outside.
  • If you are in a laboratory equipped with a fume hood and/or a biosafety cabinet, close hoods and sashes.
  • Gather essential disaster supplies if possible. Select interior room(s) below or at ground level. The room(s) should have adequate space for everyone to be able to sit. Avoid overcrowding by selecting several rooms if necessary. It is ideal to have a hard-wired telephone in the room(s) you select.
  • Keep the phone available if you need to report a life-threatening condition.
  • Bring everyone into the room(s) and shut door(s).
  • Continue to listen to the radio or television until you receive notification that you can safely evacuate.

It's vitally important to understand the various types of sheltering prior to an incident occurring. Sheltering for severe weather is different than sheltering from a toxic release. Sheltering during an active shooter incident requires still another approach.

Ken Long, Director for Emergency Management & Continuity, IU Bloomington