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SPSU Home >> Emergency Preparedness >> Sheltering In Place >> What To Do

What To Do

What to Do Upon Receiving Notification to Shelter in Place for a Crime in Progress

Persons in a classroom or office:

  • Stay there, lock all doors and windows and await further instructions or an escort from emergency responders.
  • If the door does not lock consider barricading the door with tables and chairs.
  • Close curtains and blinds where possible.
  • Stay away from windows and doors once your room or office is secured.
  • Stay low and remain as quiet as possible.
  • Cell phones should be put on quiet or vibrate mode.

Persons in corridors, hallways, or similar locations:

  • If possible, proceed to the nearest classroom or office not already secured.
  • If an unsecured classroom or office is unavailable seek the nearest area of cover/concealment*.
  • Crouch down in areas out of sight from doors and windows to conceal you as much as possible.

DEFINITION OF COVER / CONCEALMENT

COVER refers to anything which is capable of physically protecting an individual from gunfire. Examples: concrete wall, large tree, vehicle engine compartment, etc.

CONCEALMENT - is an object or area which only affords being hidden from view. It will not stop or slow bullets. Examples: bushes, plaster or sheet-rock walls, closed curtains or blinds, etc.

Persons outside of campus facilities (building) when a Shelter in Place message for a Crime in Progress is communicated:

  • Seek the nearest area of cover or concealment.
  • If at all possible return to your personal vehicle.

Persons operating vehicles on campus when a Shelter in Place for a Crime in Progress message is communicated:

  • Persons operating vehicles on campus when a Shelter in Place message is transmitted regarding a crime in progress can leave campus.
  • In some instances emergency responders may control access to and from campus. You may be asked to identify yourself and to agree to the inspection of the contents of your vehicle before being allowed to enter or leave campus.

Persons operating vehicles off campus when a Shelter in Place message is communicated:

  • Persons operating vehicles off campus when a Shelter in Place message is transmitted regarding a crime in progress should remain off campus.

Actions to avoid:

  • Do not call the SPSU University Police or 911 unless you have an immediate concern for your safety, the safety of others, or have critical information that will assist emergency responders.
  • Do not open the door to your room or office until you are officially advised of the “all clear” or are directed to do so by confirmed emergency responder.
  • Do not travel down long corridors.
  • Do not assemble in large open areas (e.g. cafeterias, dining halls, auditoriums, or lecture halls)

Considerations

  • After receiving a message to shelter in place for a crime in progress, if a fire alarm is activated, remain where you are and await further instructions by the Emergency Public Address System, Hornet Alert, or emergency responders.
  • If possible, monitor the SPSU homepage for updates. Media reports may be unreliable.
  • In some instances, emergency responders may have a limited description of reported suspects. For this reason, emergency responders may consider all persons on the scene as a potential threat. To ensure the most expedient response to a campus crime in progress, members of the campus community are asked to comply with all legal direction from emergency responders.
  • Cooperate with emergency personnel to assist in an orderly building evacuation if directed to do so.
  • If advised, proceed to the designated gathering area.
  • The police may require individuals to remain available for questioning following a sheltering in place.

What to do Upon Receiving notification to Sheltering in Place Procedures for Severe Weather Emergency

As a result of severe weather conditions or pending severe weather, a weather alarm may be transmitted to the campus community. Tornado warnings and severe weather warnings (severe thunderstorm warning accompanied with a tornado watch) will activate the Cobb County Emergency Management siren on campus. Upon hearing the siren, you should begin sheltering in place. The University Police will also communicate a Shelter in Place order message.

Persons in a classroom or office:

  • Remain calm.
  • Seek shelter in a protected area of the building. The best location is the lowest floor of the building, in a central hallway or a small room without windows (restroom, storage room, etc.)
  • Assist persons with disabilities who appear to need direction or assistance.
  • Do not use the elevator. Use the stairs.
  • No matter where you shelter stay away from mirrors, windows or glass doors.
  •  When possible, shelter under a large piece of furniture such as a table or desk.
  •  If the storm does hit, crouch and cover your head.
  • Be alert for falling or breaking objects.
  • If possible, monitor the National Weather Service (NWS).

NOTE: An end to an alarm siren does not mean the warning is over. A second siren is not an all clear message; instead it may indicate an additional more severe weather warning.

Remain in the safe area until the “all clear” is received or the NWS weather warning expires.

 Persons in vehicles on or off campus, when the emergency sirens sound:

  • Remain calm.
  •  Park your vehicle immediately and seek shelter in the nearest building.
  • Seek shelter in a protected area of that building. The best location is the lowest floor of the building in a central hallway or a small room without windows (restroom, storage room, etc.)
  • No matter where you shelter stay away from mirrors, windows or glass doors.
  •  When possible, shelter under a large piece of furniture such as a table or desk.
  • If the storm does hit, crouch and cover your head.
  • Be alert for falling or breaking objects.
  • Remain in the safe area until the “all clear” is received or the NWS weather warning expires.

Persons outside of campus facilities, when a siren sounds:

  • Remain calm.
  • Seek shelter in the nearest building.
  • Seek shelter in a protected area of that building. The best location is the lowest floor of the building in a central hallway or a small room without windows (restroom, storage room, etc.)
  • No matter where you shelter stay away from mirrors, windows or glass doors.
  •  When possible, shelter under a large piece of furniture such as a table or desk.
  •  If the storm does hit, crouch and cover your head.
  • Be alert for falling or breaking objects.
  • Remain in the safe area until the “all clear” is received or the NWS weather warning expires.

Sheltering in Place Procedures for a Hazardous Materials Emergency

As a result of a hazardous materials incident on or near campus, the campus community may become threatened. Often the specialized responders to a hazardous materials incident will issue a Shelter in Place or evacuation order. The University Police will communicate this Shelter in Place or evacuation order message.

  • Shelter in Place or evacuate the area as directed by emergency responders.
  • Alert others in the building or immediate area.
  • Assist persons with disabilities who need direction and/or assistance.
  • Close all windows and exterior doors.
  • When possible, turn off air conditioning or any source of outside air.
  • Remain calm and wait for further instructions or an all clear from emergency responders.
  • If a building evacuation is ordered by emergency responders, move at least 300 feet from the building in an upwind direction or as directed by emergency responders.
  • Do not re-enter the area until cleared by emergency responders.
  • If you are contaminated, remain in the area for decontamination by emergency personnel.