Certain types of incidents may require a practice known as sheltering in place. Radiological or chemical attacks, a sudden violent storm like a tornado or violent criminal activity are the kinds of activities that may require a shelter-in-place response. In those types of incidents, an evacuation to an exterior location could place University members in greater harm.
Shelter in place, usually intended as a short-term option, is an order given only by police, fire and rescue personnel. If the order is given, these procedures should be followed:
- Stay inside to protect yourself. In the event of a weather or chemical incident, the safest location within the building is a centrally located room or a basement.
- The area should have no or few windows; if there are any windows, stay as far away from them as possible.
- Block any cracks around doors with anything available (clothing, paper, etc.).
- Turn off fans or any appliance that moves air.
- Do not go outside or attempt to drive unless an evacuation order is issued; remain in place until University police officers advise it is safe to do otherwise.
You can prepare for these types of emergency by preparing a modest kit containing the following:
- candy bars and snacks
- bottled water
- flashlight and batteries
- plastic bags
- cell phone
UBalt maintenance personnel are specially trained for responding to a shelter in place emergency. Among their instructions is to turn off any devices that bring air in from the outside, in order to lessen the chance of contamination.