Q: What does it mean to "protect-in-place?"

In any emergency that threatens your personal safety or health, you have three basic options:
  • leave (evacuate)
  • secure yourself where you are (protect in place)
  • stay away from the location affected

Use common sense, situational awareness, and trustworthy information, such as ASU Alert messages or uniformed emergency personnel, to make your response decision.


The primary purpose for evacuation is to put distance between you and the identified hazard. Depending on the type of emergency, evacuation procedures may vary. If you decide to evacuate, consider taking the following actions:

Leave the area immediately. Take personal items (keys, wallet, cell phone etc.) only if safe to do so.

  • Assist individuals with disabilities
  • Walk, do not run.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Provide relevant information (i.e. unaccounted/trapped persons) to emergency responders.
  • Do not return until cleared to do so by emergency responders.


"Protect-in-Place" refers to situations where it is safest to remain indoors rather than face uncertainty outside. Depending on the emergency, appropriate areas to shelter may vary. In general, when sheltering, occupants should seek safety by placing protection between them and the danger. This could include walls, rooms without windows, locked doors, furniture, etc. If you decide to secure yourself where you are, consider taking the following actions:

  • Find a safe location.
  • Shut all doors and windows.
  • Stay away from areas exposed to the threat.
  • Enact barriers between you and the threat.
  • Await further information from emergency responders.