Shelter in Place

Some emergencies may require you to wait inside the building, or to “shelter in place” before you evacuate the building. These emergencies include the release of chemical, biological or radiological materials or the presence of an active shooter on campus. Under such conditions, it may be safer for you to remain indoors rather than to exit into a potentially harmful environment.

Emergency? Dial


for help in any emergency or


from any campus phone.

For non-emergency access to Campus Safety, please call 250-370-4567.

The type of hazard determines which of the steps you will need to take

Active shooter

Shelter in place if you are unable to safely evacuate.

  • If you are in a classroom, room or office, stay there, secure the doors and windows and wait for further instructions or an escort from emergency personnel.
  • If the door does not lock, consider barricading the door with tables and chairs.
  • If you are in a corridor, go into the nearest office not already secured and lock or barricade the door and windows.
  • Close curtains or blinds where possible.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  • Stay low and quiet.
  • Set cell phones to silent mode with vibrate turned off. Do not make non-essential calls.

Actions to avoid

  • Do not open the door once it has been secured and until you are officially advised “all clear” or are certain it is emergency personnel at the door.
  • Do not use or hide in washrooms.
  • Do not travel down long corridors.
  • Do not assemble in large open areas (e.g. cafeterias).
  • Do not call 911 unless you have immediate concern for your safety, the safety of others, or feel you have critical information that will assist emergency personnel in the response.
  • Follow instructions from emergency personnel only.
  • For their own safety, emergency personnel must initially consider all individuals as potential threats. It is important to follow instructions from police at all times to avoid harm and ensure the best possible response.

Following the incident

  • Cooperate with emergency personnel to assist in an orderly evacuation.
  • Proceed to the Emergency Assembly Point.
  • The police may require individuals to remain available for questioning after the incident.

Hazardous Materials Release

If you are instructed to shelter in place due to a hazardous materials release outside the building:

  • Take direction from emergency wardens or first responders.
  • Go indoors and stay there until directed differently.
  • Select a room without windows if you can.
  • Close all windows and doors.
  • Close vents if you can.
  • Turn off anything that moves air.