During some emergencies, officials may deem that it is unsafe to be outdoors due to an environmental hazard in the vicinity of the campus. This is called ‘shelter-in-place’, which means to stay inside. If you have to stay inside for an extended period, having an emergency kit will be invaluable.

What would be considered an environmental hazard?

  • Significant impact to air quality inclusive of hazardous material release (chemical, biological, or other hazardous substances in solid, liquid or gaseous form).
  • Storms – snow, severe wind, or lightning storms resulting in downed power lines, high levels of disaster debris, or impacted access and egress routes.
  • Earthquakes.
  • Other hazards which constitute a health or safety risk should individuals not take shelter, including wildlife hazards (e.g. bears, cougars, coyotes, and deer), and radiation levels which fall outside of Health Canada’s guidelines for human exposure.

What to do?

Seek and share shelter

  • Increase your distance from the hazard and enter the closest building possible if outdoors.
  • Avoid rooms with windows that cannot be sealed.

Seal exterior doors and windows

  • Seal exterior doors and windows.
  • In some cases, the ventilation system may be shut off.
  • Turn off the furnace, air conditioners, and exhaust systems.

Keep calm and alert

  • Keep phones on and monitor updates on, listen to the radio, or TV for more information.
  • Minimize noise and do not make unnecessary calls.
  • Listen and be aware of potential hazards including unusual sounds and smells.


  • Remain in the secure location until additional information is provided by emergency personnel.
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