Q: What is “Shelter-in-Place”?
A: “Shelter-in-Place” is the directive emergency personnel give in the event that outdoor conditions are unsafe because of an environmental hazard, such as a hazardous materials release or a severe weather event.
Q: How will I know when I should “Shelter-in-Place” in a real emergency?
A: At Temple, the “Shelter-in-Place” directive will be issued via TUalert (Temple's emergency notification system): through SMS text message and e-mail. Students, faculty, staff, and registered guests of Temple University will receive TUalerts, but only if they have entered their cell phone number into their personal contact information on TUportal. Parents, family, and all others outside of the Temple University network can see TUalerts via the university’s Twitter feed, @TempleUniv. In a major emergency, more information can also be found on Temple's main home page: www.temple.edu. On Temple's Main and Health Sciences Center campuses, the TUalert for a "Shelter-in-Place" emergency will also be accompanied by the sounding of the outdoor warning siren (TUsiren).
Q: Do I Shelter-in-Place for an active shooter emergency?
A: No, we use the Shelter-in-Place directive for environmental hazards only, such as hazardous materials or severe weather. If there is a violent threat that poses an ongoing risk to the Temple community, a lockdown directive would be issued. Please go to our procedures page to find out more. In addition, find out more about personal active shooter preparedness here.
Q: What action should I take if a “Shelter-in-Place” directive has been issued?
A: You should seek immediate shelter indoors. Move away from exterior windows, close doors, and remain there during emergencies involving environmental hazards, such as severe weather or a chemical release.
Q: What will the Shelter-in-Place drill on be like?
A: The outdoor warning siren (TUsiren) will sound. A TUalert will also be issued to members of the Temple University community telling them that a drill is occurring. All members of the Temple community are asked to participate in the action of seeking interior space away from external windows. The drill will take place for 10-15 minutes. When the drill is completed, an "All Clear" TUalert message will be sent out to members of the Temple University community, letting everyone know the drill is finished.
Q: Why do we have to have a Shelter-in-Place Drill?
A: The Philadelphia Fire Code requires that we have annual Shelter-in-Place drills, much as we have fire drills (or, evacuation testing). It is important that we prepare not only for emergencies that require evacuation, but also for emergencies that require that we stay indoors because of unsafe environmental conditions.
Q: What if I’m outside when I hear the TUsiren?
A: Seek shelter in the building nearest you. Wait there until you receive the "All Clear" message via TUalert.
Q: Will the drill affect my classes? What if I have an exam during the drill?
A: All university personnel have been alerted to the drill. Your professor will make accommodations for participation at their own discretion. If you have any further inquiries about this, we suggest you contact your professor directly.
Q: Who is helping with the drill?
A: Almost every building on all of our domestic campuses have "Building Emergency Management Teams". You may see these teams wearing red or yellow vests with "BEMT" on the back. They are part of the Emergency Management program at Temple and will assist during the drill by providing direction and information about the Shelter-in-Place procedure.
Q: Who can I talk to, to get more information about this drill?
A: Please feel free to contact The Director of Emergency Management, Sarah Powell, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also continue to browse our website at http://safety.temple.edu/emergency-preparedness to learn more about what to do in emergency situations. Each School and College has a Building Emergency Manager, so please ask to find out who your representative may be if you have questions for that individual.
Q: I am part of a clinical practice. Do I have to participate?
A: The Shelter-in-Place Drill fulfills requirements by the Philadelphia Fire Code for annual testing. Each clinical practice must determine whether or not – or how – they plan to participate in the drill. Please contact Temple University Physicians and/or your Supervisor to ask about how your clinical practice is participating.