Move immediately to the centre of the building away from windows and prepare to evacuate
What does this mean?
Shelter in Place means move away from the external areas of the building to designated enclosed areas that have been deemed safe, without windows or doors.
When is it used?
Shelter in Place is used when it’s assessed that it’s safer for occupants to remain within the building than to be on the street. In some circumstances, for example chemical incident or bomb threat, buildings may provide more safety and security than being outside.
Who will issue the Shelter in Place directive and for how long?
Shelter in Place instructions can be given by Emergency Services or can be self imposed by the Business Response or Building Management Teams. The period of time for which people will be required to shelter in place will depend on the nature of the emergency.
Other things you can do to prepare
While the initial directive is to Shelter in Place as the safest option, there may be a subsequent directive to evacuate. Business Response Teams and staff should do as much as possible (and only what is safe to do) to best prepare for the Evacuation to a Nominated Assembly Area – and possibly to a further transport node with the potential to be delayed for a Return to Work for at least 24 hours.
Other recommendations for Business Response Teams
Move people with disabilities or access impaired people to the lower floors to facilitate evacuation if necessary
Have Emergency Evacuation Kit ready (with battery operated radio)
If there is a visitors register or system, ensure this is added to the staff contact list or roll call if required to evacuate
Other recommendations for Staff
For each staff member to have their Personal Readiness Emergency Pack (“Go Bag”) with them
Collect mobiles, laptops, wallets, keys if safe to do so
Have comfortable shoes on, been to the bathroom, have full bottle of water
Staff to have their emergency “tools” with them – key contact numbers, procedures, maps
If communications permit, staff to make calls to prepare their contacts for the activation of Personal Emergency Plans. For example: Suggcontact home or family to advise there might be a disruption and being collected from work is not possible, inform child-care that collection may be delayed.
How should you respond in a live emergency?
Immediately close all windows and doors. This may also include assuming a ‘lock down’ position.
If it is a chemical incident, immediately shut down all ventilation and air conditioning systems
Move away from the external windows and to designated “sheltering spaces” within the building. These are spaces with:
Few or no external windows
Towards to the centre of the building
With access to communications to receive updates
Near emergency exits in preparation for evacuation