Shelter-in-Place and Evacuation Procedures


Shelter-in-Place: Sheltering in place is used when there is not time to evacuate or when certain conditions render it unsafe to do so. No matter where you are, the basic steps of shelter-in-place will generally remain the same. Should a need ever arise; follow these guidelines, unless instructed otherwise by law enforcement and/or other first responders.

Guidelines for Shelter-in-Place:

  1. Stop what you are doing immediately.
  2. If safe to do so, collect any belongings, emergency shelter-in-place supplies (such as medicine, water, food, trash bin) and a telephone to be used in case of emergency.
  3. If you are outdoors, proceed into the closest and safest building quickly or follow instructions from first responders. Take immediate shelter indoors and isolate yourself away from the threat.
  4. Locate an interior room without windows or with the least number of windows.
  5. If there is a large group of people, several rooms may be necessary.
  6. Shut and lock and/or barricade doors. Turn off the lights. Silence cellphones.
  7. Await further instructions from the Emergency Notification System (ENS) or first responders.
Run, Hide, Fight

In the event of an active shooter, “Run, Hide, Fight” philosophy has been adopted by the college and should be followed by all community members. Remember, these are guidelines that you need to be prepared to adjust to, based on what threat you may be experiencing.   

Run: If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate. 

Hide: If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter/threat is less likely to find you.  

Fight: As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter/threat by throwing items, tackling them, using maximum force and committing to your actions 


Evacuation: Evacuation requires all community members to exit a building or area and in some instances, the campus. Depending on the situation, evacuation may mean moving offsite but within the vicinity of the campus (such as the opposite side of the street), or moving to a remote location not immediately contiguous to the campus. One primary factor in determining evacuation (versus sheltering in place) is whether a backup building or safe space is readily available and whether evacuation can be facilitated without jeopardizing the life and safety of the masses.

Guidelines for Evacuation:

  1. If it is safe to do so and if it is on the way toward the nearest exit, take your personal belongings, e.g., phone, keys, wallet, purse, coat, printed emergency plan and staff contact information 
  2. Shut and lock doors to office spaces/rooms and turn off the lights.  
  3. As you exit, announce that the building is being evacuated and direct people out of the nearest and safest exit to one of the meeting points.
  4. Elevators should not be used; occupants should exit by the way accessible stairwells.
  5. Landings and stairwells should be checked for individuals who may need assistance due to mobility impairment or disability.
  6. Evacuation must be timely and orderly.
  7. Move quickly and calmly to the evacuation location.
  8. Listen for further instructions through ENS or first responders.
  9. If you cannot evacuate, move to the nearest window and signal for help and contact Public Safety at 607-274-3333.

Regardless of what type of emergency is occurring, if you or anyone else is in need of medical assistance, immediately call the Office of Public Safety at 607-274-3333 or dial 911. 

As always, please remember these plans are guidelines and that any emergency requires you to be flexible with your individual response. In order to keep yourself and/or others safe, you may need to alter your plan in order to ensure your/other's safety. 

Be aware that some individuals may need additional assistance due to a disability/accommodation. Direct people who are unable to leave the building to an area of safety (e.g., enclosed stairwell, office with a closed-door). Notify Public Safety of their location immediately.  

file-outline Emergency Readiness and Response Guide - Emergency Readiness & Response Guide 2023.pdf (2.47 MB)

Ithaca College community members are encouraged to review and become familiar with emergency response procedures.