Shelter in Place


Shelter in place means finding a safe location indoors and staying there until you are given an “all clear” or told to evacuate. You may be asked to shelter in place because of an active shooter; tornado; or chemical, radiological, or other hazard.


  • In finding a safe location: Does the door lock? Does it open out or in? Is there furniture nearby that you can use to barricade the door? Can you close or block the windows?
  • Think of what you might need (food, water, and medication) if the shelter-in-place notice lasts many hours.


In an active shooter situation: determine whether you need to barricade yourself. Know if the door opens outward or inward. Test the lock.

In a severe weather event: the rule of thumb is to put as many walls between you and the outdoors as possible and head to the lowest floor possible. The basement is an ideal location.


  1. Stay calm.
  2. Proceed to a location that can be secured, and lock or secure the door. If necessary, move something in front of the door to ensure it cannot be forced open.
  3. Turn off all lights, silence all phones, and wait for further instructions. Instruction will come via e-mail or text, so keep your silenced phone nearby.
  4. Do not open the door until instructed by responding authorities.
  5. Remember: contact Yale Police or 911 if you feel that your safety is in jeopardy
  6. Wait in the safest location possible until you are given the “all clear” or told to evacuate.
  7. During an active shooter situation, the University will “lock-down” all exterior doors.

*Planning discussion necessary by your department, unit, college, or school