Emergency Reference Guide

Sheltering in Place Guidelines

Sheltering In Place is one of several response options available to emergency management directors and employees of the University Of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) in the event of an emergency. Sheltering In Place means persons will remain in a building until emergency management officials issue additional instructions or declare that the emergency condition has ended. It is a short-term option for limiting the potential exposure of persons to hazards that may be present in the outdoor environment.

Building Coordinators have been identified for each university building. They have been trained to take certain actions and maintain communication with the university emergency command center for the duration of the emergency condition.

Persons in university buildings should take the following actions when the UMB Emergency Management Director issues advice to Sheltering In Place:

  1. Remain calm. Shut windows and exterior doors. Remain in the building and await further instructions from the Sheltering In Place Coordinator, Fire Wardens or the Emergency Management Director.
  2. If in a laboratory, reduce all operations to a safe condition as quickly as possible. This might include terminating chemical reactions or processes; disposing of hazardous chemicals that are in use; securing radioactive materials; and putting away cultures and potentially infectious materials.
  3. Do not use elevators. The movement of elevators pumps significant amounts of air in and out of a building.
  4. Do not seal off rooms or corridors with plastic or tape. The Emergency Management Director will centrally control building ventilation to minimize the risk of exposure of occupants to hazardous materials.

Building occupants should monitor updates posted to the UM Alerts web page.