Shelter-in-Place shelter-in-place-sm

This term, frequently used in emergency management contexts but not necessarily familiar to many people, means you should stay inside the building you are already in or closest to. This is typically used for severe weather events, such as a tornado. Preferably, when a shelter-in-place order is given, choose a small interior room with few or no windows. Do not lock the doors behind you as others may also need to shelter-in-place. Do not walk around or go outdoors once a shelter-in-place order is given.

Before a Shelter-in-Place Order

  • Sign up for UConnALERT.
  • Determine a location to seek shelter in your building ahead of time.
  • Develop a communications plan. This should include both work and personal contacts.
  • STAFF SUPERVISORS- Develop a system to account for your employees. Train your employees on what to do if there is a shelter-in-place order.
    • Encourage your employees to sign up for University Alerts.

When you receive the order to Shelter-in-Place

  • Calmly stop class, work, or close your business.
  • Immediately seek shelter inside the closest sturdy building, interior room, or corridor.
    • Preferably, find a small interior room with few/no windows.
    • Avoid large free-standing expanses such as auditoriums and gymnasiums.
  • Close all windows, exterior doors, and any other openings to the outside.
  • Stay away from windows, glass, and unsecured objects that may fall.
  • If you are with other people, ask them to stay in the room with you. When authorities provide directions to shelter-in-place, they want everyone to take those steps right away, where they are, and not to drive or walk outdoors.
  • If you are not in imminent risk, contact your family to let them know your situation.
  • Await further instruction from UConnALERT and Emergency Personnel.
  • Do not leave until an All Clear is received.


  • Resist the temptation to go outside and check the weather conditions yourself.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Seek shelter in interior rooms and corridors.
  • Wait in the safest location possible until directed by Emergency Personnel or UConnALERT. If an evacuation is ordered, leave your shelter and evacuate immediately.
  • Always use common sense. There are exceptions to all guidance and prescribed directions.