It’s always best to be prepared for an emergency. No one can argue against that. That’s why schools and places of business teach “stop-drop-and-roll” and perform periodic fire drills, and why you should always have a family evacuation plan in case of fire. Some parts of the country experience severe storms, and residents there are taught from a young age about the best places inside where they can keep safe. Any time the conditions outside are unsafe, authorities may issue a Shelter in Place order. If you don’t know what that is, or how to do what’s being asked, you are putting your life – and possibly the lives of others – at serious risk. Sheltering in place can be the difference between life and death.
What Does It Mean to Shelter In Place?
“Shelter in place” means taking immediate shelter within your current facility in the event of an emergency environmental situation. Generally, authorities issue a shelter in place warning during weather emergencies, such as tornadoes or excessive air pollution, or if there was an accident in town that caused a chemical spill or some other problem that creates unsafe conditions outside. Closing all doors, moving to a designated part of the building, and in some cases shutting off various valves within the building are usually part of what it means to shelter in place. Practicing this, and making sure everyone understands, is vital to ensuring compliance and maintaining calm conditions.
3 Recommended Steps to Shelter in Place
- Inform everyone of the situation: Let your staff, residents, customers, or whomever is in your establishment know that there is an active shelter-in-place order so no one tries to exit the property.
- Have everyone inform emergency contacts: If the emergency is not immediate, have everyone inform their emergency contacts or friends and family of the situation to let them know that they are safe and secure.
- Let everyone know what to do: Depending on the situation, it’s typically smart to have everyone stay away from windows and doors and find a room at the most inner part of the building to congregate. Don’t let spaces get overcrowded, and keep everyone calm.
SecureCore Can Help Manage a Shelter in Place
In an apartment community, you must consider the safety of numerous people; therefore quick thinking, fast action, and on-point communication are key. SecureCore’s emergency preparedness and planning software for multifamily residences can help you keep you and your staff speaking the same language. It provides one location for all the necessary information. Even without an internet connection, users can immediately access information regarding utility locations and shutoffs, emergency call lists, and guidelines for how to shelter in place.
Emergencies rarely have the courtesy to occur during normal business hours though, right? Staff can rely on SecureCore’s emergency response and recovery solutions to make sure that all staff members and off-site responders are alerted, receive instruction, and therefore stay organized and communicate quicker and more efficiently.
Ongoing training and education on how to prepare for and handle emergency situations is also part of the program, so in the event of a shelter in place order, everyone will be prepared.
An emergency situation doesn’t have to mean confusion and chaos. Being prepared is essential to carrying out an effective action plan when the time comes. Organizing a periodic shelter in place drill is often the best course of action if you want to be able to seamlessly utilize this life-saving plan.