Initial Actions Shelter- In- place Porterville College

Stay Safe Campaign

Shelter- In- Place

In certain situations Porterville College officials may direct you to SHELTER in place. A shelter in place is the use of a structure and its indoor atmosphere to temporarily separate you from a hazardous outdoor atmosphere.

This can be because of a hazardous material incident, animal threat on campus, or perhaps a weather related emergency. It entails closing all doors, windows and vents and taking immediate shelter in a readily accessible location. The purpose of a shelter in place is to direct the PC community to safer locations to avoid the hazard and to keep campus arteries clear for emergency use.

How well staff/students take these actions with, or without direction can be critical to the outcome of your emergency!

Sheltering- In- Place: Key Actions

Faculty, Staff, and Students Should:

  • Remain calm
  • If you are outside, seek cover in the nearest building. Do not wait until you see or smell the hazard to seek shelter. Resist the urge to go outside and “check it out”.
  • Once inside, find an interior room or hallway and await further instructions. Stay away from exterior windows.
  • Close and lock all exterior doors and windows (to avoid inadvertent opening).
  • Turn off heating, cooling and ventilation systems.
  • If you are inside, stay there, even if you do not normally work or have class in that building.
  • Students/staff should identify themselves to the faculty/staff member in charge.
  • Faculty/staff member in charge, should take roll and document the names of all persons present.
  • Staff/students will remain indoors until further instructions are received from administration or emergency personnel.

Incident Command Staff Will:

  • Ensure 9-1-1 has been called if appropriate.
  • Be prepared to shut down all HVAC systems and stop outside air intrusion to all occupied buildings on campus!
  • Establish an Incident Command Post (ICP) if needed.
  • If safe to do so, activate Red Bag group members as needed to provide support in sheltered buildings, provide communications between buildings and the ICP, and fill other needed assignments.
  • When it is deemed safe by the Incident Commander (or other official), give the "All Clear" command.


  • Typically used for environmental threats, including animals.
  • May require shut-down of HVAC - isolation from outside air.
  • In some cases is a better alternative than evacuation.
PC Safe Campaign

Your ability to be proactive when it comes to emergency preparedness and response helps keep everyone safe from harm and reduces the emotional stress that accompanies emergency situations and disasters.

If you see something, say something


Created By
Todd Dearmore