On Thursday, Feb. 14, we will test our plans, policies and response capabilities for a shelter-in-place scenario on all U.S. campuses. This drill will help us identify areas in need of improvement as well as unify our universitywide emergency preparedness efforts.
During the drill, which will start at approximately 10 a.m. and last for 10-15 minutes, the outdoor warning sirens (TUsiren) will be sounded on Main Campus and at the Health Sciences Center to indicate the need to shelter in place. The sirens will be activated for approximately three minutes.
Shelter-in-place is an important emergency procedure when there are environmental hazards such as a chemical release or a severe weather event. It means get inside immediately and stay there until you hear otherwise. Shelter-in-place is different from a lockdown, which is used for a violent human threat of any kind, including an active-shooter scenario. No front doors should be locked for the shelter-in-place drill.
In a real shelter-in-place emergency, you should immediately go indoors and seek safe shelter away from external windows and doors. For purposes of the Feb. 14 drill, take a moment to practice the procedure and consider the types of scenarios that would call for sheltering in place.
In some cases, Building Emergency Management Teams (BEMTs) will assist by directing you to designated locations within buildings. These volunteers will be wearing red vests. Please support our BEMTs as they help carry out this drill. If there are no BEMTs present, or you are outside when the siren sounds, practice seeking an indoor space that is away from external windows and doors.
On the morning of Feb. 14, as well as at the start of the 10 a.m. drill, TUalerts will be sent to remind you of the shelter-in-place drill. Another message will be sent when the drill concludes. Ensure that your mobile phone is registered to receive TUalerts. Frequently asked questions about the drill are answered on the TUready website, and learn more about shelter-in-place preparedness.
Sarah Powell, Temple’s director of emergency management, leads workshops about emergency preparedness for students, faculty and staff. Contact her at 215-204-7470 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to schedule a training.
Thank you for your partnership and support of our efforts. Your safety and well-being are our highest priority.