seek shelter iconWhen the emergency conditions involve a severe weather event, the safest method to protect individuals may be to :Seek Shelter” by relocating to the lowest level of the building, away from exterior windows.

When Taking Shelter

  • Get to the lowest, most interior location in the building
  • Put as many walls between you and the weather emergency as possible
  • Avoid exterior windows
  • Always seek out the closest, safe path when securing a safe space within the facility
  • Take a cell phone with you
  • If available, take a flashlight and a radio or designated emergency kit to the “Seek Shelter” area to track emergency status
  • Avoid using the elevator
  • Keep telephone lines free for emergency responders, DO NOT call 911 for information
  • If able, provide assistance to people needing help reporting to the “Seek Shelter” safe area 

Seek Shelter Safety Areas

In the event of a weather-related emergency, students, staff, faculty and guests must be relocated to one of the following “Seek Shelter” safety areas:

  • The designated “Seek Shelter” safety areas for that building
    • Lowest floor interior stairwells or hallways
    • Lowest floor restrooms
    • Lowest floor rooms without exterior windows
  • No one should remain on the second or higher floors

TCU Alert “Seek Shelter” Procedures

The TCU Alert notification system will provide notification of a weather-related emergency. The system will automatically contact the proper authorities. The TCU Alert notification system may be supplemented by a live voice from the campus Police Department giving vital instructions for the campus. Listen carefully and respond accordingly.

Follow these procedures as closely as possible, without putting yourself in extreme danger.

Remind your team safety is everyone’s responsibility, and it does not happen by chance—pre-planning is essential.

Before a “Seek Shelter” Emergency

  • The Building Emergency Coordinator (BEC) will review and update the building emergency response plan annually or as needed
  • Will train and inform appropriate personnel and building occupants of emergency procedures, updates, and changes
  • Will ask personnel in each suite, on each floor to work on devising a “Seek Shelter” plan
    • Who will do what assignments?
    • Which stairwell is the nearest and will be used to access the “Seek Shelter” safe area in the building?
    • Where are the various “Seek Shelter” safe areas in the building?
  • Assist the TCU Department of Public Safety in conducting “L.E.S.S. is More” emergency response drills annually

During a “Seek Shelter” Emergency

  • Use an authoritative tone and calm demeanor to direct occupants to a safe relocation place during a “Seek Shelter” situation
  • Assist building occupants who need assistance in reporting to the “Seek Shelter” safe area in the building, make sure you ask the person first if you can assist them and how you can help
  • Notify first responders of any staff or students needing special attention during an emergency situation
  • Do not move injured individuals, unless an emergency threatens their well-being
  • May designate assistants from available personnel in their area, if needed

 After a “Seek Shelter” Emergency

  • At the designated “Seek Shelter” area, take attendance of staff to ensure everyone is present. Anyone missing or whereabouts unknown should be reported to the Incident Commander on the scene
  • Will inspect and restock emergency response supplies semi-annually or after each use
  • Complete a post “Seek Shelter” assessment to turn in to the Director of Emergency Management to implement improvements

Before a Seek Shelter Emergency

Familiarize yourself with

  • The seek shelter safety areas
  • Nearest stairwell to the seek shelter safety area
  • Faculty, staff or students who work in your area and may need assistance in seeking shelter

During a Seek Shelter Emergency

  • Remain alert and look/listen for signs of an emergency in the building
  • Relay any information to the Building Emergency Coordinator or emergency response personnel
  • May be asked by the Building Emergency Coordinator to assist emergency response personnel

All seek shelter safety areas are on the lowest level of the building, away from exterior windows.

Visually Impaired Persons

  • Announce the type of emergency
  • Offer your arm for guidance
  • Verbally guide the person, giving them information about your general path and obstacles
  • Once at the safety zone, offer to provide further assistance

Hearing Impaired Persons

  • Turn lights on/off to gain the person’s attention
  • Indicate directions with gestures
  • Write a note with shelter-in-place instructions

Persons using Crutches, Canes or Walkers

  • Provide as much assistance as possible
  • If physically able, offer to move the individual using a sturdy chair or rolling chair
  • If physically able, help carry the person to safety

Wheelchair-bound Persons

  • If physically able, help carry the person to safety
  • Reunite wheelchair and user as soon as possible
  • Always consult with the persons before making your decision, lifting may be dangerous for non-ambulatory people