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Shelter in Place vs. Lockdown

In an emergency alert, what is the difference between a Shelter in Place and a Lockdown?

If you have heard the terms "Shelter in Place" and "Lockdown" and been confused as to what the difference is, don't worry, you are not alone. The distinction is not necessarily intuitive, but it is important. The key thing to remember is that both are instructions to put effective barriers between you and a threat. The difference is in the types of threat, and what kind of barrier is called for.

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, or perhaps a weather-related emergency. It entails closing all doors, windows and vents and taking immediate shelter in a readily accessible location.

A lockdown may be instructed during situations such as the presence of a hostile or armed intruder inside a building. A lockdown requires locking doors, windows, and barricading oneself to block entry to a campus facility, a classroom, or to an office suite.

For more information of what to do in the after receiving instructions to shelter in place or to lockdown, please visit the pages below, or dowload our printable Shelter in Place vs. Lockdown handout.

Shelter in Place | Lockdown