Shelter In Place Emergency Plan For Curtis Bay Elementary School, Baltimore, MD

Shelter in place is a procedure for finding an impromptu safe location indoors during an emergency, be that a natural disaster, a terror attack, or a hazard of various nature. It serves both as a gathering point and as protection against the hazard until the command is given to get out of the shelter, signifying everything is clear (Tipler et al., 2018). Some of the primary requirements for a place to serve as a shelter is the presence of doors with strong locks, the availability of items to form a barricade, and the presence of essential materials and supplies that might be needed for a prolonged stay (Tipler et al., 2018). This includes food, water, and medication, as well as toilets, blankets, and other accommodations.

In order to evaluate a shelter for readiness and adequacy against the impending emergency, different approaches should be taken. In an active shooter scenario, it needs to be made secure through the use of locks and barricades. At the same time, a scenario where protection from weather is primary priority involves hiding in places where there are as many walls as possible, the number of window openings is minimized, and the place is most protected against the elements. A basement would be an optimal shelter for these reasons.

When responding to an emergency, important steps are as follows (Tipler et al., 2018):

  • Remain calm;
  • Find a location that could be secured, and lock the door. Place a barricade behind the door if possible;
  • Turn off the lights and electrical appliances, make sure your telephones are placed on silent. Instructions for evacuation will be received through a phone.
  • Do not leave the shelter until instructed;
  • Call Baltimore Police by dialing 911 if you are in danger.


Tipler, K., Tarrant, R., Tuffin, K., & Johnston, D. (2018). Learning from experience: emergency response in schools. Natural Hazards, 90(3), 1237-1257.