Public Safety announced plans to conduct a campus-wide shelter-in-place drill at 1:20 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28 in a campus-wide email on Thursday morning.

Students and faculty will be notified of the drill’s commencement via the emergency messaging system, but will not be notified when it is scheduled to end.

“We ask you to take a few minutes to think about and discuss with others how you might shelter in place wherever you happen to be,” Director of Public Safety Scott Rohde wrote in a campus-wide email.

The University started to hold shelter-in-place drills last year in order to prepare the campus for potential emergency situations.

“Our plan is to have at least one drill each year,” Rohde explained in an email to The Argus. “It is also a good opportunity for the campus to test its emergency notification system.”

Rohde clarified that this drill is not a response to last week’s shooting at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland, Fla., in which a 19-year-old killed 17 people with an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle.

“This year’s drill will be a simulation of a tornado or serious weather emergency,” Rohde wrote. “[It] is not in reaction to Parkland. It was planned over a month ago.”

Nonetheless, the drill can serve as preparation for a variety of emergency situations, such as severe weather incidents, violence, airborne chemical threats, and the blockage of exits by smoke or fire.

“The exercise is to find challenges and identify solutions before they are needed,” Rohde explained. “If you are outdoors, or in an exposed area, identify spaces you could quickly proceed to for safety.”

Public Safety is asking students to review the University’s shelter-in-place procedures prior to the drill, as well as contact them with any questions or concerns they may have.


Erin Hussey can be reached at or on Twitter as @e_riss. 

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