Information about a shelter-in-place drill on May 2

To the Temple community,

On Tuesday, May 2, we will hold a shelter-in-place drill on all domestic campuses (Ambler Campus, Center City, Health Sciences Center, Harrisburg, Main Campus, Podiatric Medicine and Temple University Center City). This drill will help us identify areas in need of improvement and raise awareness about our building emergency procedures and university preparedness efforts and help assess our response capabilities.

At the start of the 2 p.m. drill, which will last for 10 to 15 minutes, a TUalert will be sent to remind you of the shelter-in-place drill. The outdoor warning siren (TUsiren) will be sounded on Main Campus and the Health Sciences Center (HSC) to indicate the need to practice the shelter-in-place procedure. The sirens will last for approximately three minutes. 

In a real shelter-in-place emergency, when you hear the siren on Main Campus or HSC or when you receive a TUalert, you should immediately go indoors and seek safe shelter away from external windows and doors. For the purposes of the May 2 drill, take a moment to assess where you may be able to shelter-in-place, practice the procedure if it is feasible for you to do so and consider the types of scenarios that would call for sheltering in place. This applies to all domestic campuses, not just Main Campus and HSC.

Shelter-in-place is an important emergency procedure when there are environmental hazards such as a chemical release or a severe weather event. This procedure requires that you get indoors immediately and stay there until you receive an “all clear” message. Shelter-in-place is different from lockdown, a procedure that is used for a human-caused threat, including an active-shooter scenario. No front doors should be locked for a shelter-in-place drill, and building access will not be impeded.

In many cases, our Building Emergency Management Teams (BEMTs), volunteer staff wearing yellow or red vests, may be available to assist in directing you to locations within buildings to shelter-in-place if you need information and would like to practice the procedure. If there are no BEMTs present, or you are outside when the siren sounds, we recommend that you practice seeking an indoor space that is away from external windows and doors.

It is especially important that we test our systems and procedure as we enter severe weather season. The climate in Philadelphia, the region and across the state is becoming more severe and there is increased potential for damaging thunderstorms, heavy rainfall and high wind events, including tornadoes. In September 2021, a tornado touched down on the Ambler Campus as the remnants of Hurricane Ida moved through the region, and on April 1 of this year, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for the city of Philadelphia and Montgomery County.

In preparation for the drill, ensure that your mobile phone is registered to receive TUalerts and consider your preparedness actions now. To find out more about the shelter-in-place procedure, please visit the TUready website

Thank you for your partnership and support. Your safety and well-being are our highest priority.


Nicola Mammes
Director of Emergency Management