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Emergency Preparedness Program

Shelter In Place Shelter in Place

In the event of an emergency, such as the accidental or intentional release of dangerous goods into the atmosphere (e.g., chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear contaminants), persons in the threatened area may be instructed to shelter-in-place.

Shelter-in-place is a precaution to help keep you safe by remaining indoors. Unless you are in immediate danger, staying where you are and awaiting instructions from the proper authorities is usually best.

Notification is typically undertaken by York University Security Services. Alternately, you may be notified by your Building Emergency Captain or Emergency Response Warden or by telephone. The media may also provide you with notification.

If instructed to Shelter-in-Place:

  • Close and lock all windows and exterior doors. If there is danger of an explosion, close all window coverings (e.g., shades, blinds, curtains). Also turn off all fans, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems.
  • If possible, take refuge in a small, interior room, with no or few windows. In case of a chemical threat, an above ground location is preferable, as chemicals heavier than air may seep into the basement even with the windows closed.
  • Although most shelter-in-place orders usually last only a few hours, take any emergency survival kits with you to have a supply of food, bottled water, first aid supplies and medications on hand.
  • Have a working radio available so you can listen to the media to know when it is safe to come out or if you will need to evacuate the area.
  • Do not leave the building or go outside until advised that it is safe by emergency services or York University Security Services.
  • Try to have a hard-wired telephone inside the room in which you are seeking shelter. This will provide a backup to any cellular equipment you may have.
  • Avoid using the telephone unless you are reporting an emergency or it is absolutely necessary. Emergency responders and those who need immediate emergency assistance will need all available lines.