Shelter in Place
Shelter-in-place orders are used more than you might think. Just last month, UMass Amherst (MA) and Gadsden State (AL) were on lockdown for various reasons. Chemical spills in your vicinity, fires, active shooter incidents and many other situations may required that you shelter in place for some period of time. We're sure you know that you need water, medical supplies, foot, etc., in order to shelter in place. In this week's articles are some things you may not have thought of.
When conditions outside get tough, where will building occupants go?
How do lockdown and shelter-in-place situations differ?
Remain calm and carry out the procedures in your plan in the event of any situation.
Temporary SIP is a public protection tool used by communities in the United States and around the world; this guidebook discusses the effective use of SIP in the event of a chemical hazard.
To best prepare your staff for an active shooter situation, create an Emergency Action Plan (EAP), and conduct training exercises.
Here is a general guide for preparing a shelter-in-place plan in the workplace.
As always, I look forward to hearing about your concerns with regard to business continuity. If there are any topics that you'd like to see covered, email me at
Bob Mellinger, President
1. Seconds Matter in a Shelter in Place Scenario
Your facility must be ready to serve as a refuge when a natural disaster, crime in progress, or chemical spill make it too dangerous to leave. But your occupants may not even know where to hunker down, especially if you're not reinforcing the information regularly or your emergency plans are scant on sheltering details.
2. Lockdown vs. Shelter in Place
Although written for schools, this document provides an easy way for all of us to tell the difference between Lockdown and Shelter-in-Place: determine the threat! Lockdown is designed to respond to the threat of a human perpetrator, Shelter-in-Place responds to the threat of an airborne cloud of toxic agent.
3. Sample Lockdown & Shelter in Place Procedures
The following sample procedures may be incorporated into an organization's emergency planning. All organizations should plan for emergency situations, this document focuses on situations where evacuating the facility is not appropriate. These may include intruders, violence, civil disobedience and possible chemical, biological or nuclear events.
4. Shelter in Place Protective Action Guidebook
This guide book contains information and advice about planning for and implementing temporary shelter-in-place (SIP) as protection from airborne toxic chemical hazards that might result from an accident or incident at an Army chemical weapons stockpile storage site. The guide book provides planners and decision-makers with guidance on how to make temporary SIP effective, and it includes examples to help users understand the guidance.
5. Active Shooter: How to Respond
Because active shooter situations are often over within 10 to 15 minutes, before law enforcement arrives on the scene, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation. Your human resources department and facility managers should engage in planning for emergency situations, including an active shooter scenario. Planning for emergency situations will help to mitigate the likelihood of an incident by establishing the mechanisms described in this document.
6. Shelter in Place at your office
Employees cannot be forced to shelter in place. Therefore, it is important to develop your shelter in place plan with employees to maximize the cooperation of employees with the shelter plan. Determine if all employees will shelter or if some will leave the building before shelter procedures are put in place, and develop an accountability system.
Quote of the Week:
"I failed a health and safety course at work today. One of the questions was, 'In the event of a fire, what steps would you take?' 'Big ones' was apparently the wrong answer."